Orgalime opposes mandatory LCD separation

Trade association argues that expensive requirement would not benefit the environment

Liquid crystal displays (LCDs) used in electronic equipment present no threat to the environment and should not have to be separated when electrogoods become waste, EU industry body Orgalime has argued. The European Commission has proposed introducing such a requirement under the draft waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) directive, which it published in June (ENDS Daily 13 June).

The draft directive currently lists LCDs in an annex, along with several other "problem" components such as cathode rays tubes and batteries, for removal from the waste stream. It says the chemicals used in LCDs may be carcinogenic and may be converted into toxic compounds if incinerated.

Orgalime has already issued a general response to the WEEE directive proposals (ENDS Daily 14 September). Its latest position paper focuses on the LCD issue. The association argues that they would be expensive to separate, cannot easily be recycled if they are separated, and in any case do not pose environmental or health risks. Mandatory separation would therefore serve no environmental purpose, it argues.

In an explanatory memorandum accompanying the draft WEEE directive, the Commission said that it had had "extensive discussions" about LCDs but had decided to require separation because, while "some manufacturers" had made "considerable efforts" to show their LCDs presented no threat, doubts remained over certain components imported into the EU.

Follow Up:
European Commission, tel: +32 2 299 1111; Orgalime, tel: +32 2 706 8235, and LCD position paper.

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