Sweden plans electronic goods takeback law

Producers made responsible for end-of-life management, pre-treatment required before landfilling

A new Swedish law applying producer responsibility to electronic and electrical goods will come into force on 1 January 2000, the national environment ministry announced today. The law follows the government's recent decision to update Swedish environmental regulations in line with a new environmental code (ENDS Daily 29 June). Manufacturers of a wide range of products, including batteries, will now have to provide free end-of-life care for their products through licensed handlers, and also provide detailed information on product content. According to the ministry, electronic and electrical goods in Nordic countries contained 2,500 tonnes of cadmium, 180,000 tonnes of lead, 200 tonnes of polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) and 130 tonnes of mercury. The new law is intended to reducing the amount of these and other chemicals that are released into the environment. A spokesperson for the Swedish environment ministry told ENDS Daily that one of the purposes of the law was to "stimulate manufacturers to make products that can be recycled". Under the law, a ban on landfilling, incineration or fragmentising without pre-treatment will also come into force. The European Commission is currently discussing proposals for new regulations on the collection and recycling of electronic goods (ENDS Daily 27 May), which have so far produced an unenthusiastic response from member states.

Follow Up:
Swedish environment ministry, tel: +46 8 405 1000.

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