Pressiteade: EucoLight 2024 konverents Veneetsia Mestres

A step towards the challenges of the European platform for the recycling of lighting WEEE
Brussels, 31st May 2024.

EucoLight, the European Association committed to circular economy for lighting WEEE successfully concluded its 7th annual conference that took place on 23-24 May 2024 in Venice-Mestre (and online), hosted by its Italian member, Consorzio Ecolamp. It was a great experience that brought together over 50 delegates from all over Europe for two intense days of discussion and debates.

During the event, we addressed crucial issues such as the challenges and prospects for a new European legislation on WEEE, the phenomenon of online free riding, the role of WEEE take back systems, the sharing of experiences, and controls on the WEEE management chain.

The first part of the conference was devoted to EU legislation in progress. Kerstin Lichtenvort, Team Leader CRM and related waste streams at the European Commission Directorate-General for Environment opened the conference presenting challenges and outlook for a new WEEE directive.

Followed by an exchange of views with Alexander Goldberg (EWRN-European WEEE registers network), Korrina Hegarty (APPLiA Home Appliances Europe) and Julie-Ann Adams (EERA European Electronics Recycling Association) to discuss key aspects of the WEEE Directive’s ongoing evaluation.

Diving into specific aspects of legislation, Natalia Sierra Conde Saraiva Carvalho (Ambilamp & Chairwoman of EucoLight Policy Working Group) opened the debate on the concept of Put On the Market within the context of WEEE, whilst EucoLight Secretary General, Marc Guiraud, presented the latest developments on online free-riding at EU and national level.

Then the discussion focused on the EU trend on shifting from Directives to Regulations on key circular value chains like packaging, batteries and WEEE with the invited experts, Nikhil Varghese, (Dentons Global Advisors), Joachim Quoden (EXPRA-Extended Producer Responsibility Alliance) and Eric Ruyters (EUCOBAT- the European association of national collection schemes for batteries). As Joachim Quoden observed, “the various sectors were facing the same challenges and problems, such as freeriding via online sales, concrete implementation of EU legislation, measuring our performance, working with municipalities and our inhabitants”.

Furthermore, on the topic of measuring performance, Vanessa Forti from the United Nations Institute for Training and research (UNITAR) updated participants on e-waste statistics and calculation tools. According to the global E-Waste Monitor 2024, produced by UNITAR, around 62 million tonnes of e-waste were generated worldwide in 2022. With a recycling rate of 42 per cent, Europe is considered a pioneer in dealing with e-waste, and the region where the most extended producer responsibility legislation is in place.

Recycling is about recovering valuable resources. To this end, the EU Critical Raw Materials Act (CRMA) aims to ensure EU access to a secure and sustainable supply of critical raw materials to fulfil the EU’s 2030 climate objectives. In this regard it was a privilege to hear European Commission Policy Officer in charge the new legislation, Maria Nyberg, presenting the new CRMA that entered into force on the first day of conference.

Encouraging all stakeholders managing WEEE lighting to operate in an environmentally friendly manner is a priority for EucoLight. Elena Scaroni, the Secretary General of EucoLight’s affiliate member, LighingEurope, guided the participants on sustainability for lighting products and their latest actions on EU sustainability dossiers. Eduard Wagner, Senior
researcher from the Fraunhofer Institute, presented how the Digital Product Passport created by new EU Ecodesign for Sustainable Products Regulation (ESPR) can impact collection and recycling. Zoltan Pilter, an expert in lighting industry sustainability and regulatory matters, explained how environmental and social governance (ESG) reporting obligations will impact producer responsibility organisations.

During the event, the crucial issues of enforcement and controls on the WEEE management chain were addressed. The conference participants had the honour of hearing from Lieutenant Colonel Enrico Risottino, Commander of the Carabinieri for the Environment and Energy of Venice, who spoke on the efficiency of controls in case of environmental
infringements. Followed by a presentation on the use of artificial intelligence for the circular economy, small home appliances and e- waste from Marco Imparato, Director General of APPLIA Italia.

Best practice sharing was also a key moment for participants to learn from their peers on advanced developments in sustainability and waste collection at country level. This was the case of Ambilamp (Spain), Appliances Recycling SA (Greece), Ecolamp (Italy), Ecosystem (France), Electrão (Portugal), FLIP (Finland), Recolight (UK) who shared insights on smart collection containers, state of the art LED lamps collection and recycling, the set-up of donation portals for used and unsold products aiming at preventing the generation of waste, and WEEE recycling campaigns involving high school students.

“Actively participating in events like these, which are repeated regularly over the years, is a precious experience, which confirms the constant commitment of EucoLight members in enhancing a real European platform focused on improving the collection and recycling of lighting WEEE both at national and European level from a quantitative and qualitative point of view”, commented Fabrizio D’Amico, EucoLight President and General Director of the Italian
Consorzio Ecolamp. “In this process – continued D’Amico – the importance of interacting constructively with the European Institutions has strongly emerged, as well as to discuss and collaborate with organizations similar to EucoLight. From this perspective, the event organised this year in Venice with its contents, moments of work and networking represented a fundamental moment in the path of the EucoLight association towards the challenges that
await it in the near future.”

The conference in Venice was also the welcome occasion to celebrate Juan Carlos Enrique, the General Manager of the Spanish take back system Ambilamp, who will soon retire. Juan Carlos Enrique was, as well as Ecolamp Director Fabrizio D’Amico, one of the founders of the EucoLight association in 2015.

Should you want to know more about EucoLight and its publications, please visit the EucoLight website.

About EucoLight:
EucoLight is The European association of collection and recycling organisations for WEEE lamps and lighting. On behalf of its members, EucoLight engages with everything related to the WEEE Directive, legislations and standards affecting the collection and recycling of WEEE lighting. Its members collect and recycle, in aggregate, 80% of the lamp waste collected in the 18 countries in which they operate. EucoLight is the voice of European WEEE compliance schemes specialised in managing the collection and recycling of WEEE lighting; working to make the circular economy a reality for lighting products. EucoLight has 17 PRO members:
AMBILAMP (Spain); Appliances Recycling SA (Greece); Ecolamp (Italy); Ecosystem (France); EES-Ringlus (Estonia); Ekolamp s.r.o. (Czech Republic); Ekolamp Slovakia (Slovakia); Electrão (Portugal); ElektroEko (Poland); Elretur (Denmark); FLIP (Finland); Lightcycle (Germany); LightRec (Netherlands); Recolamp (Romania); Recupel (Belgium); UFH (Austria), ZEOS (Slovenia) and one affiliate member, LightingEurope. Founded mid-2015, EucoLight has quickly embarked into constructive dialogue with relevant stakeholders to provide expertise in the field of management and treatment of WEEE lighting and to promote the positive role of Extended Producer Responsibility schemes on the environment and society.
For more information, visit the EucoLight website, follow EucoLight on Twitter and LinkedIn, or contact the Secretary General, Marc Guiraud (marc.guiraud@eucolight.org)