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The WEEE Directive (Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment) sets up common EU rules and environmental targets for the production and environmental treatment of electrical and electronic equipment.

The rules take offset in considerations for the environment and resources and aim to prevent and reduce environmental burdens from electrical and electronic equipment (EE equipment).

On the one hand, the objective is to invite producers to produce environment-friendly products and on the other hand to increase reuse, recycling, and other forms of recovery. Thus, the WEEE Directive has focus on product design, quantities placed on the market, and environmental treatment of EE equipment.

The EU Commission prepared already back in 1998 the first draft directive minimising the environmental burden caused by WEEE. This directive was finally adopted in 2002. 

The directive is based on the producer responsibility model as a regulatory tool: producers and importers must take responsibility for their products in their entire life-cycle. In addition to seeking to prevent waste arisings and optimise resource use in the product development the directive contains targets regarding collection and recovery of EE equipment at the end of its useful life.

RoHS Directive

The WEEE Directive is supported by the RoHS Directive (Restriction of the Use of Certain Hazardous Substances) limiting or banning the use of a number of harmful substances contained in EE equipment.

You can read more about legislation on the following pages.

Last edited: 12/06/2019

Further information:

Key abbreviations: 

EEE - Electrical and Electronic Equipment

WEEE – Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment

RoHS -Restriction of Hazardous Substances

WEEE2 – Revised WEEE-directive 

Background and purpose of WEEE Directive

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