A comprehensive and quantitative eco-efficiency concept for end-of-life consumer electronics is developed at the TU Delft. It addresses the key question in setting up take-back systems for discarded consumer electronics: how much environmental improvement can be realised per amount of money invested? This paper highlights the latest results of applying the concept in practice on the implementation of the European Waste Electric and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) Directive. The aim is to demonstrate what short-, medium- and long-term developments in applying electronic waste policies should look like, based on this eco-efficiency thinking. In particular, the outcomes of the Quotes for environmentally WEighted RecyclabiliTY and Eco-Efficiency (QWERTY/EE) concept on the current European waste policy situation are discussed. Based on this, generic rules and strategies are presented which are applicable for the start and further development of take-back and recycling systems for electronic products in various countries. The outcomes in general support the development of more eco-efficient take-back and recycling in the EU.
Keywords: end-of-life, EOL products, consumer electronics, electronics recycling, eco-efficiency, Waste Electric and Electronic Equipment, WEEE Directive, policy road map, environmental improvement, investment, electronic waste policy, product recovery, industrial ecology, environmental manufacturing, green manufacturing