what was at stake
green position
what we achieved
what we did not achieve

Waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE)

Every year more than nine million tons of electronic equipment are sold in the EU. With strong market growth and innovation cycles shortening, electronic waste is estimated to grow to more than twelve million tons by 2020.

This makes waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) the fastest growing waste stream in the EU.

Recycling rates for WEEE are still low and much waste is exported to developing countries, especially to Africa.

This causes environmental pollution in these countries and leads to loss of secondary raw materials.

Obligations to collect WEEE are poorly enforced in most member states.


What was the Greens' position?

The Greens wanted above all to end the illegal shipments of WEEE to developing countries.

We also argued that collection targets should be ambitious and be based on the waste that actually arises rather than on sale amounts to better take account of the different consumption situation in old versus new Member States.

We wanted that retailers be obliged to take back all forms of WEEE (not just on a one-to-one basis), so that collection rates increase.

We also believe that producers should inform their customers about nanomaterials used in their products, and that the Commission should assess whether separate treatment of nanomaterials in WEEE is necessary.


Did other MEPs accept the Greens' position?

The Greens succeeded to gather majority support for our compromise that only used EEE that is proven to be fully functional may be sent to non-OECD countries, while allowing shipments to independent third parties within the OECD for repair.

Parliament managed to have the actual amount of electronic waste arising as an alternative way to calculate collection requirements in 2018.

We attained the goal of wider collection by retailers, but only for large retailers and only under certain conditions.

We were successful in introducing an obligation for the Commission to assess whether separate treatment of nanomaterials in WEEE was necessary.


Which points did the Greens lose?

The Parliament had to accept that the achievement of the collection rates was significantly delayed by Council and that further derogations were introduced for eight out of ten new Member States.

The Greens were disappointed by the limitation of the collection of WEEE to large retailers.

We failed to get specific information requirements about the use of nanomaterials in EEE.

Press & Events

Procedure:Ordinary legislative procedure


Lead MEP:Karl-Heinz Florenz (EPP)

Green MEP responsible:Michail Tremopoulos


Staff contact:Axel Singhofen (Email)

Outcome of the vote
Below you find the results of the final vote in plenary. How did the political groups vote? What about national delegations? And what was the position of your MEP?