LIFE, the environmental program of the European Union, announced on 4 June that WEEELABEX is the ‘best-of-best’ environmental project of the past year.WEEELABEX successfully developed new standards for e-waste recycling processes and the independent supervision thereof that also apply as an international standard. WEEELABEX improves the processing of discarded electronic devices (e-waste) by setting strict and clear rules.
WEEELABEX, in full Waste Electric and Electronic Equipment LABel of EXcellence, is an initiative of European collection systems, united in the WEEE Forum. It provides uniform rules for the collection, storage, transport, processing, recycling and reuse of e-waste, provides for monitoring compliance by trained auditors and writes reports concerning processed volumes and recycling results that have been achieved.
Some member states have made processing in accordance with the WEEELABEX rules mandatory. Recognition as a key project in the circular economy, in which materials of electrical and electronic devices are recovered and reused, helps to convince other member states to lay these standards down in law as well.
The LIFE assessment committee has noted that WEEELABEX offers guidelines outside Europe as well. There are references to WEEELABEX in America, China, Japan, Malaysia, Nigeria, Kenya, Brazil and South Africa during the development of standards for e-waste processing.
The e-waste processors and collection systems benefit from similar standards for the handling and processing of e-waste, because they create a level playing field whereby the minimum level of recycling has been laid down.
The EU Member States that are represented by the LIFE committee each year select the LIFE environmental projects completed during that year. In 2013, six projects were labeled ‘best of best’.