The group – which is made up of leading PV companies and the world’s first take back and recycling scheme for all PV technologies – stated that today’s WEEE compliance efforts do not conform to the high commitment to sustainable lifecycle management that motivated the industry to operate its own voluntary take-back and recycling scheme from 2007 to 2012.
While WEEE compliance entails administrative as well as financial burdens, it also assures end-users and customers of the quality of their products. A high non-compliance rate would jeopardize customer trust in the PV industry and would threaten the marketability of those companies seeking to be compliant.
“Free-riders are a threat to the PV industry, especially in these difficult times, and a threat to our product’s promise: an all-green product”, said Axel Steuer, President of PV Cycle. “Those who are compliant pay double the cost for PV waste management”.
Free-riders are companies who are not compliant with the Extended Producer Responsibility obligations of their EU-28 WEEE legislations. Some free-riders also misleadingly use the name and logo of a certified WEEE and waste management program, while in reality do not contribute to the financial responsibility imposed by the legislation.
“PV CYCLE has always stood for a fair and efficient WEEE and waste management approach”, said Jan Clyncke, Managing Director at PV cycle. “Working towards consistency and fullness of compliance, ensuring that PV module waste does not become an issue in the future and creating a level playing field have certainly become a main focus in recent times.”
It is expected that approximately 40 % of the EU market are not compliant today. The reasons include negligence as well as misinformation. “Financial responsibility under WEEE has become a country-specific matter, irrelevant of past commitments or brands”, explained Pia Alina Lange, Head of Public Affairs at PV Cycle.collecoll