Some of the key changes to existing legislation include:
- Expanded scope. EU e-waste law will now bring all electrical and electronic equipment under the scope of the rules, except for listed exceptions, such as large installations and tools, military equipment and vehicles.
- Increased collection target. A collection target has been set of 85% of all electronic waste produced as from 2016. The average EU household generates 17-20 kg of e-waste annually, with only about one-third being recycled, according to 2008 research.
- Shift in responsibility for funding collection. In a narrow margin, lawmakers adopted splitting the cost of e-waste collection from households among manufacturers, retailers and consumers. Local authorities currently pick up the tab, but the authorities want to reposition cost burden from taxpayers to consumers (and producers) of electronics, a tact attuned to the "polluter pays" principle established in the EU Treaties.
With e-waste recovery still too low, and with illegal trade and dumping of e-waste offshore still an ongoing problem, governments will continue to look for more effective answers to a growing issue.