Inderscience Publishers

Environmental product attributes in end-of-life management in the UK. Part I: an end-of-life eco-declaration for waste IT and office equipment

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Courtesy of Inderscience Publishers

The focus of this paper and its companion (Part II) is to identify producer responsibility associated with the proposed Waste from Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) Directive and the need for greater information about the environmental attributes of electrical and electronic equipment to facilitate end-of-life management of discarded products. Recently, a wide-ranging debate has started within the IT industry centred on the best way to define the exact nature of the information that needs to be supplied to recyclers by producers in order to comply with the proposed European Commission Directive. Using IT and office equipment as an indicative example, semi-structured telephone interviews were conducted with representatives of the UK electronics end-of-life management industry about the environmental attributes that are needed for compliance with the draft Directive. The results of this research indicate there is specific information about equipment that is required on a regular basis, the most important of which is centred on hazardous substances and materials contained in whole units, parts and components of that equipment. The content of an eco-declaration for end-of-life management of IT and office equipment derived from quantitative and qualitative interview data is presented.

Keywords: eco-declarations, end-of-life management, environmental product attributes, materials recycling, producer responsibility, reuse, waste from electrical and electronic equipment

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