The European, Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Directive (WEEE), guidelines for manufacturers of electrical products and electrical equipment for when the products become waste, must now be applied as national law.  

In Brussels on 14 February the 18 month period for transitioning WEEE from a directive into national law for EU member states came to an end. The WEEE was launched in 2003 and then amended in 200, and 2012. In 2012 new products added to WEEE included PV panels.

WEEE regulates how electronic equipment is handled at the end of its life. Collecting and recycling solar panels in Europe, PV Cycle’s managing director Jan Clyncke said “The recast WEEE Directive has simply created a mandatory framework for every PV actor putting PV modules on an EU market for the very first time.”

The WEEE directive proposes mandatory requirements for the collection and recycling, and guarantees the financial future of PV waste management, Clyncke explained further.

He added that waste management “has been a reality” for most EU member states since 2007.

Ensuring PV panel managers have time to prepare for the change to WEEE in advance has been the main focus of PV Cycle in the run up to the WEEE change, Clyncke also said.

As of 1 January 2104, the UK and Bulgaria are the first to enter the European directive WEEE regulation into national law before the deadline. The law was implemented prior to the February deadline to allow for budget planning and a smooth transition to the now mandatory requirement.

PV manufacturers in France teamed with PV Cycle to review WEEE in France, last week.