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EU Policy. Solar panel manufacturers will have to pay for disposal under new EU rules

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By illuminem briefings

· 2 min read

illuminem summarizes for you the essential news of the day. Read the full piece on Euronews or enjoy below:

🗞️ Driving the news: Energy ministers in Brussels have voted for amendments to the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment bill, following a 2022 EU Court of Justice ruling
• The decision mandates that manufacturers are responsible for the collection, treatment, and recovery of waste from solar photovoltaic (PV) panels and other electrical equipment placed on the EU market after certain dates

🔭 The context: The court's ruling came after it found the EU’s law "partially invalid" due to "unjustified retroactive application"
• The new amendments specify that the responsibility for managing waste from products marketed after 13 August 2012 rests with the manufacturers
• This also includes electronic gear placed in the market after 2018, when the European Commission introduced guidelines to facilitate national implementation

🌍 Why it matters for the planet: This legislative update is significant for environmental sustainability and waste management in the EU
• By holding manufacturers accountable for the end-of-life of their products, it promotes a circular economy approach, reducing landfill and encouraging recycling and recovery of valuable materials from electronic waste

⏭️ What's next: The amended bill is set to come into effect after being signed by the presidents of the European Parliament and the Council
• This move paves the way for improved e-waste management across the EU, with a review clause scheduled for 2026 to assess progress and explore further improvements

💬 One quote: "Waiting for 2026 to kick off the process would mean wasting another two precious years," said Stéphane Arditi, the European Environment Bureau’s director for circular economy, industry, and climate, emphasizing the urgency of addressing e-waste issues.

📈 One stat: The volume of electrical and electronic equipment placed on the EU market increased from 7.6 million tonnes in 2012 to 13.5 million tonnes in 2021.

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