On 21 March, the European Parliament’s Environment Committee went against industry’s demands and voted for collective responsibility of orphan waste in the WEEE directive.
The Environment Committee followed the Council’s recommendations from its first reading and voted for collected responsibility of orphan electronic waste. The rapporteur, Mr Florenz (EPP-ED Germany), had suggested individual responsibility, because of the high risk of ‘free-riders’ within a collective scheme.
The Committee agreed with the rapporteur on individual financial responsibility for all other, non-orphan, electronic waste. This will be an issue of disagreement with the Council, which has proposed the right for Member States to choose collective responsibility schemes if they wish.
The Committee also backed the rapporteur’s demand for raising the collection rate target from 5 to 6 kilograms per capita, and to raise recycling targets. It also turned down a suggestion to exclude small companies from the directive.
With respect to the ROHS directive, the Committee agreed bring forward the date for banning certain substances to 1 January 2006. However, Member States can phase out the substances earlier if they wish.