‘Financing the Future’ event follow-up
November 9, 2020
On the 14th October WEEE Ireland welcomed over 150 registered attendees to a morning of presentations and panellists with interactive Q&A focused on the future direction of the Scheme and the Irish WEEE and Waste Battery system.
Due to pandemic restrictions the decision was made to hold a virtual event and while the WEEE Ireland Team regretted missing the opportunity to meet our colleagues, Members and wider network in person, the online format enabled more people to connect with us including many WEEE and Battery Stakeholders not based in Ireland.
We opened the event with a morning session dedicated to Members only whereby the formal AGM for 2020 was held including the election of new Directors in accordance with the Scheme Corporate Governance Charter. The 2019 Annual Report was presented to the Membership along with the Annual Fee briefing.
As a reminder the agenda link can be found on our website here »
WEEE Ireland welcomes two new Directors to the Board.
Dermot Deely, Signify Ireland representing the Lighting Sector, and Brenda McEvoy, Apple International representing the Technology and Battery Sectors.
Financing of Future, The WEEE Circular Economy
A record 53.6 million metric tonnes (Mt) of electronic waste was generated worldwide in 2019, up 21 per cent in just five years, according to the UN’s Global E-waste Monitor 2020. It is estimated that by 2030 this number will reach 74 Mt! Only 17.4 per cent of 2019’s e-waste was collected and recycled.
International E-Waste Day was developed in 2018 by the WEEE Forum with the support of its members. The day is used to raise the public profile of e-waste recycling and encourage consumers to recycle their e-waste with the resulting increase in e-waste recycling rates on the day itself and into the future.
WEEE Ireland is an active member of the WEEE Forum, collaborating with other national Schemes across Europe on continued development as a Centre of Knowledge and Excellence for ewaste management.
WEEE Ireland Challenges & Opportunities in Financing the Future
The opening presentation was given by Leo Donovan, CEO, who focused on the scheme’s results for 2019 and strategy to develop Circular Economy activities and steer WEEE Ireland into the future.
Circular Economy New Waste Action Plan & EPR
WEEE Ireland was delighted to welcome Sorcha Byrne, Assistant Principal Officer, Waste Policy Unit, Department of Environment, Climate and Communications (DECC), who presented the new national Waste Action plan for a Circular Economy and its implications of on the Extended Producer Responsibility system.
The new plan for 2020-2025 can be found on the Government’s website »
French Eco-modulation & Visible Fees in Action
Jean-Paul Auberger and Edouard Carteron joined us from France to present details of the Ecosystem Scheme’s Eco-modulation and Visible fees programme. Their presentation highlighted the importance of these tools for the development of the Circular Economy in France.
Eco-modulation has been in place in France since 2010 and has evolved to apply to 12 product types and B2B EEE. The requirement to modulate fees has been introduced in Irish law by the transposition of Directive 2018/851 (S.I. no 323/2020), to be implemented by 2023.
“The eco-modulation criteria should be smart, stable over time and focused on the producers’ topics of concern; the framework should be as simple as possible and consistent from one country to another to enhance producers’ interest in this mechanism.”
Further information on ecosystem and eco modulation available on the scheme’s website here »
Una Fitzpatrick from Technology Ireland at IBEC, Dermot Deely from Signify and Ian Collins from Beko joined Leo Donovan for a discussion and to answer some questions from attendees.
We learnt how Circular Economy and wider environmental issues are driving company policy across both Producer’s global operations and how IBEC is developing a new Circular Economy group from across their industry membership.
Challenges relating to repair and reuse, supporting training for new repair engineers in Ireland and questions related to insurances and warranties featured in the discussion
Links to panellists’ organisations’ websites and some recent papers from Applia and Digital Europe referenced in the discussion can be found below:
Section 2 of the event focused on Closing the Circle: WEEE Flows, and highlighted the research undertaken both in Ireland and more generally across the EU to ascertain WEEE Flows and increase recovery and recycling of WEEE parts.
WEEE Forum EPR 2020
Pascal Leroy from the WEEE Forum highlighted the work being done by the Forum and partners during International E-Waste Day to drive awareness on the global WEEE challenge.
The topic of targets was also addressed in his presentation in relation to managing the unreported and in some cases unregulated WEEE flows outside of the Producer compliance Schemes in Europe
WEEE Research 2020
Dr Colin Fitzpatrick from University of Limerick presented current research projects related to WEEE Flows, including TriREUSE (Trialling the Preparation for Reuse of Consumer Laptops, Tablets & Smartphones), EEE2WEEE (Exploring Complimentary WEEE Flows in Ireland), ExportEEE (An Assessment of used EEE exports from Ireland) and LongWEEE, which will “project the future volumes and financial flows related to long-life emerging technologies such as solar PV and electric vehicle batteries and, thus, enable decisions that will contribute to the long-term sustainable management of WEEE in Ireland.”
Dr Geraldine Brennan and Dr Damian Coughlan from IMR’s CIRCULÉIRE presented the new cross sectorial national Platform for circular manufacturing https://circuleire.ie
WEEE Ireland is a founding member of CIRCULÉIRE and our scheme has been working with the platform in 2020 to increase knowledge and understanding of the Circular Economy practices of our Producer Members (through a Circular Economy survey of 127 producers in July and august 2020) and analyse the WEEE Flows coming through the scheme.
The CIRCULÉIRE website is a resource hub for Circular Economy information and it also contains a Circular Economy Knowledge Library, accessible to all.
To make the event as interactive as possible despite the online format, attendees were able to comment through a chat and they were also asked to participate in a number of polls, conducted throughout the event.
When attendees were asked where they brought their ewaste for recycling during the last lockdown an overwhelming 65% answered that they brought it to their local recycling centre, whereas 23% brought it to their local electrical retailer. Only 6% said they returned an electrical item on purchase of another similar item.
Attendees felt that the major barrier to the introduction of eco modulated fees was the additional reporting requirements with an almost 43% response. 32% felt that product information would be a hindrance and UK alignment post-Brexit would impact 17% of respondents.
When asked what research topics should WEEE Ireland focus on in the future 39% felt that the Circular Economy should be the focus. 21% felt WEEE Ireland should explore B2B WEEE. 12% opted for WEEE plastics and another 12% for new recycling facilities.
About future webinar offerings from WEEE Ireland, 27.5% opted for the subject of Reuse, with 25% opting for the Circular Economy, showing a large appetite for Circular Economy and repair and reuse topics. 17.5% are interested in enforcement webinars and over 12% in B2B reporting
Unfortunately, almost 42% didn’t know the value of E waste globally but that meant 58% did.