The Weee Nederland manufacturers’ collective was founded 7 years ago and, since then, it has been fulfilling a significant part of the market demand for the ‘WEEE Regulation’. Our social enterprise works together with various partner organisations to develop producer responsibility for waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE). We are doing this for approximately 750 manufacturers/importers throughout the Netherlands. Many municipalities, retailers and second-hand stores use Weee Nederland’s collection and sorting concepts for this purpose. In addition to fulfilling legal obligations for manufacturers, innovation, education, CO2-neutral collection and a social and circular economy are important key points. Weee Nederland also supports and advises manufacturers and importers for the European registration for producer responsibility of WEEE. Weee Nederland works with its partners in a practical way to develop innovative ways of collecting, sorting, reusing and recycling e-waste. Weee Nederland is particularly committed to the transition that is necessary to achieve a more inclusive society in which climate goals and a circular economy go hand in hand.
New frameworks require adaptability
The government often sets the framework, as it also does for fulfilling producer responsibility. Over the past year, it has become clear that the Dutch Ministry of Waterways and Public Works prefers a single manufacturers’ collective and therefore a single standard addressee to fulfil producer responsibility. To endorse this, the State Secretary, Mrs Stientje van Veldhoven, published an accompanying draft decree for a GBD in September 2020. The AVV has been submitted by Stichting OPEN. Stichting OPEN represents 2,000 manufacturers, which are most of the more than 3,000 manufacturers of EEE in the Netherlands.
Weee Nederland has a clear vision that climate objectives, an inclusive society and the pursuit of a circular economy can only be achieved if we work well together. The latter is not always easily put into practice. We are convinced that subordinating self-interest is a prerequisite for taking the right steps towards a better world. The Weee Nederland manufacturers’ collective concluded that the system change needed to achieve the WEEE target of 65% is only possible if we align the manufacturers and the government with each other.
Weee Nederland attaches great importance to the way in which objectives are achieved. Weee Nederland’s concepts are a good reflection of the way in which the social responsibility of manufacturers in the chain is fulfilled. The devised Return Premium Plan (Urgenda, Measure 43) also shows a contemporary approach to the implementation.
In December 2020, constructive agreements for a partnership were made with Stichting OPEN. However, this partnership also means that Weee Nederland will have to change its current organisational set-up. A difficult, but well-considered decision was needed for this. In order to pursue common goals, Weee Nederland will have to undergo a transition.
Following a positive draft decree, Weee Nederland will continue its activities as an advisory and implementing organisation. Weee Nederland is thus placing its trust in the establishment of a single directive organisation for manufacturers: Stichting OPEN.
Manufacturers and importers currently participating in Weee Nederland will participate in Stichting OPEN after the adoption of the draft decree. Stichting OPEN and Weee Nederland will ensure that manufacturers will notice the transition as little as possible. Communication about this will take place in a joint effort.
Going forward, Stichting OPEN will determine the policy for the interpretation of producer responsibility. This also applies to the size of the waste management fee for manufacturers and the fees for retailers and municipalities.
What isn’t changing
The support and advice provided by Weee Nederland for manufacturers and importers for the European registration for producer responsibility of WEEE will remain the same.
According to the agreement between Stichting OPEN and Weee Nederland, existing agreements with municipalities and (public) waste companies, recycling companies and other partners will continue. Our philosophy and the existing activities will therefore be continued in a new structure. This means that nothing will change for our partners and the 300 people who work indirectly for Weee Nederland in the day-to-day implementation.
As a social enterprise, Weee Nederland will continue to focus on stimulating a circular economy and solutions that contribute to this.