During the celebratory online event, which brought together representatives of the main companies and institutions dedicated to lamp producing and recycling, it was highlighted the importance of this achievement from a recycling and environmental point of view.
Simona Bonafè, Member of the European Parliament, was in charge of disposing the lamp number Two Billion in the recycling container. During her speech, she pointed out that “we have no alternative to acting and moving from a linear model aiming and maintaining the value of products, materials and resources for as long as possible”. In addition, Hervé Grimaud, Chairman of EucoLight and Deputy Managing Director of Ecosystem (France), stated that “EucoLight members’ mission to collect and recycle efficiently as many lamps as possible in an environmental sound way has been clearly achieved”.
Ourania Georgoutsakou, Secretary General of LightingEurope, highlighted the commitment of the European lighting industry to waste recovery and showed the path forward with regards of sustainability of lighting products and remarked about online sales and EPR compliance: “What’s illegal offline should be illegal online. Our obligations towards the planet do not stop when we sell or buy online”. Maria Banti, Policy Officer at the Directorate General for Environment at the European Commission, thanked the producers in the lighting sector for the results achieved, highlighted the importance for Producer Responsibility Organisations (PROs), like EucoLight members, to have sufficient operational means to meet their obligations: “PROs have a vital role in the achievements of the WEEE directive”.
The recycling of two billion lamps has great implications in terms of environment and Circular Economy. If we adapt the figures to easily imaginable equivalents, we could determine that two billion lamps are equivalent in weight to 140 times the London Eye and all the recycled lamps in a row could circle the Earth five times.
According to data from the latest EucoLight study – carried out at the beginning of 2020 – commissioned to GfK Italy on citizens’ perceptions and behaviours regarding the treatment of waste lighting and other household appliances, between 62% and 88% correctly identified the right place to dispose of waste electronic and electrical equipment (WEEE). These data corroborate the consolidation that the majority of European citizens are aware of the need to recycle lamps and WEEE waste. However, based on these data, there is still some room for improvement and for these figures to continue growing year after year.