Electronic waste: Germany fails to meet EU requirements – COMPUTER BILD


The number of electrical devices in circulation is continuously increasing – and with it the amount of electronic waste that is generated in German households every year. Everyone should know that it doesn’t just belong in the garbage can. Even so, he still ends up there far too often. This is shown by a current evaluation of the Federal Environment Agency. Accordingly, Germany missed the minimum collection target for electronic waste set by the EU in 2019 by a huge margin.

Officially, EU member states have to dispose of a minimum of 65 percent of their electronic waste via recycling centers, dealers and manufacturers and put it into the recycling cycle. According to the Federal Environment Agency, Germany only achieved 44.3 percent in 2019. This corresponds to 947,067 tons of electronic waste and thus around 443,000 tons less than targeted. The Federal Environment Agency is currently developing new strategies to massively improve the collection rate in the future. Above all, it wants to take manufacturers, dealers and municipalities more accountable and better inform citizens about disposal options and obligations.

2022 brings new duties and opportunities

The amended Electrical and Electronic Equipment Act (ElektroG) should help. This provides for new take-back obligations and information campaigns from 2022. From July 1, 2022, citizens should also be able to hand in electronic waste at food discounters. In addition, the Federal Environment Agency wants to develop measures to curb illegal disposal routes. In particular, small devices such as electric toothbrushes or clock radios would often end up in the residual or packaging waste, while large devices often end up in the yards of non-certified scrap collectors. You want to put a stop to this.

The long-term goal is to establish a functioning circular economy. Old devices would have to be properly disposed of and prepared, pollutants safely removed from the material cycle and reusable raw materials recovered. In order to make it easier for consumers to properly dispose of them, collection points should in future offer more flexible operating times, be easier to reach and be clearly labeled. According to the Federal Environment Agency, the amount of electrical appliances put into circulation each year increased by 60 percent between 2013 and 2019. In 2019 alone there were 2.9 million tons in Germany.


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