Is Reuse Still a Slogan? Views on Reuse Policies and Practices of WEEE
Posted: 28 Jun 2019 Last revised: 14 Jul 2019
Date Written: June 25, 2019
Reuse is always considered more environmentally friendly to materials and energy recovery in the waste hierarchy, but it is always neglected in policy framework for municipal solid waste management, including Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE). To support more sustainable reuse activities, reuse related policies, practice and studies in several regions and countries are analyzed in this study. Integrated with literature review, the challenges and chances faced in the reuse field are also proposed. The results show that current reuse activities are common globally, but related policies and effects vary in different countries. In EU countries, reuse has been listed in the WEEE directive and related standards since 2008, with several good reuse examples in Belgium. In China, reuse activities of WEEE are now still outside the existing policy framework, although there is also abundant practice on various reuse forms and successful reuse business models. Three key scientific questions on reuse policy making are identified: whether to replace the EEE in use from the view of sustainability, for EEE users; Whether to reuse the collected EEE or not from the view of sustainability,for WEEE collectors; Whether to reuse the components from the view of sustainability, for WEEE recyclers. Policy implications are given to encourage reuse activities, including more international.
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