New economy models are being created and set up in Europe since the EU’s circular economy package has been laid down and updated in December 2015. These new models are significantly different from the traditional “wear and tear” models, where resources do not return to the loop or are recycled.
In relation to the EU’s Circular Economy Package and aiming to make a better use of our planet’s resources, Waste from Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEEs) are key elements. Within these WEEE streams which includes phones, computers and TVs among others, are several valuable and expensive materials which are found in a few places on our planet and can be potentially recovered and reused, e.g. rare earths and metals. On the other hand, hazardous compounds both for human health and for the environment are also found. Both reasons are sufficient to address an effective and correct treatment when the end of life (EoL) is achieved in these electrical and electronic products.
Especially, two EU Directives have been set within the WEEE framework: the WEEE Directive (2012/19/EU) which introduces the schemes and targets for collection, recycling and recovery for all types of electrical goods and appliances. Also theRestriction of Hazardous Substances Directive (RoHS) (2002/95/EC), which restricts the use of certain substances in E&E equipment.
The CloseWEEE project is in alignment with both EU Directives. Valuable materials such as plastics (PC/ABS, ABS), critical metals and additives among others are effectively recovered in this project and prepared for a second life. Circular economy scheme is achieved and the loop is closed.