Delegates discussed the latest developments in collection and treatment of end-of-life lighting products as the transition towards a circular economy in the sector gathers pace. The delegates were presented with insights on market trends and expected evolution of lighting waste flows and on LED technology by industry experts.
Technical challenges for more circularity in lighting business
The collection of used lighting products is subject to targets imposed by the legislation. However, collection rates can still be improved through efficiency of operations, change in consumer behaviour and policy mechanisms, as was demonstrated during the conference.
LEDs are on the rise in the lighting waste stream, forming today only less than 2% of the collected waste in Europe. Their low collection rate is due to their very long lifespan (likely more than 10 years according to the first observations). Nevertheless, the industry needs to be prepared to handle this new type of waste. To this end delegates were presented with insights on LEDs’ technical composition and the state of LED recycling techniques. State of the art treatment techniques for the recovery of rare earths and the depollution of gas discharge lamps were also provided.
For a level playing field
An important aspect for EucoLight members in achieving a circular economy in lighting is ensuring a level playing field. Accordingly, delegates strongly supported some of the new extended producer responsibility requirements in the EU waste package, as well as the options for addressing non-compliance associated with online sales or combatting fraud in the WEEE refunds system.
Cross fertilisation for higher collection and recycling performances
Representatives from the Conference host country, Mr. Ton Holtkamp from the WEEE Monitoring Council, Mr Jan Vlak CEO of Wecyle and Mr Gied van Hoorn, Managing Director of LightRec, informed the delegates about the status of the transposition of the WEEE Directive and the performance of lamp and luminaires’ collection in the Netherlands.
The third edition of the EucoLight Light Recycling awards took place during the conference. This year the winners included a project focused on the collection of luminaires from LithtRec/Wecycle in The Netherlands, an awareness raising campaign regarding the UK lamp collection target while also promoting free recycling for end users from Recolight, the celebration and follow-up communication campaign of the 10 years of Recolamp in Romania, and the foundation of the Lauterer Wettbewerb association in Germany dedicated to detecting and denouncing free-riding cases presented by Lightcycle.
Election of the Board – New EucoLight Chairman
The conference also held the EucoLight General Assembly, which elected a new board of Directors. After three years, EucoLight’s first Chairman, Juan Carlos Enrique from Ambilamp stepped out of the Board. Hervé Grimaud from ESR/Récylum will take the role. The other elected members of the board are Nigel Harvey of Recolight, Vice-Chairman, Stephan Riemann, from Lightcycle, Treasurer, Tomáš Rychetský from Ekolamp Czech Republic, Secretary, and Ourania Georgoutsakou of LightingEurope from Belgium, member of the Board.