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European Union Lowers E-Waste Management Targets

The European Union has lowered the amount of e-waste that is supposed to be collected by member nations, angering charities that were hoping for tougher rules.

The European Parliament had previously ruled that member nations, including the UK, should collect 85 per cent of the average weight of electronic devices sold in their markets.

The new EU directive lowers the amount of waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) to be collected by nations to 45 per cent for the next four years, after which, the target will be raised to 65 per cent.

EU's stance on e-waste has not gone down well with charity Computer Aid International, which has critcised the EU rules as being too soft.

“With the EU expected to generate some 12 million tonnes of waste electrical and electronic equipment per year by 2020, we are frustrated that the European Council is taking such a softly-softly approach in addressing the looming e-waste crisis,” Haley Bowcock, environmental advocacy officer at Computer Aid said in a statement.

The charity also noted that the new EU directive, apart from lowering targets, fails to distinguish between reused computers and recycling targets. Computer Aid believes that it would be beneficial to the environment if the computers were re-used before they were re-cycled.