Mobile phone makers pre-empt EU takeback rules

Manufacturers report good results from takeback pilot projects in Sweden, UK

Representatives of six major mobile telephone manufacturers gathered in London this week to assess early results from pilot projects to collect and recycle old mobile phones in Sweden and the UK. Alcatel of France, Ericsson of Sweden, Motorola of the USA, Nokia of Finland, Panasonic of Japan and Philips of the Netherlands set up the takeback schemes in February (ENDS Daily 13 February). Motivated by growing signs that the EU will legislate on the management of end-of-life electrical and electronic products, the manufacturers have sought to test what can be done in practice. Results from the two schemes' first six months have been encouraging, said project managers. The projects are now to be continued beyond the original deadline, and the industry will seek to bring in more partners, one of the organisers told ENDS Daily. "We are not interested in a long-term solution based on the current projects because they are based on the idea of complete responsibility of manufacturers," said Bill McCartney of ECTEL, the EU association of the telecommunications and professional electronics industry. "We want a model based on shared responsibility."

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ECTEL, tel: +32 2 510 2434.

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