Electronic Waste and the Circular Economy Consultation
In August 2019 we responded to the first round of written evidence in the House of Commons Environmental Audit Committee inquiry on Electronic Waste and the Circular Economy.
As a result we were asked to provide further written evidence and attend a session giving oral evidence in April 2020.
Drawing on our policy work and successful Elements in Danger campaign, we outlined our four main principles for the government to consider:
1. Reduce and re-use: Measures should focus on reducing the amount of CRMs being used and re-using devices containing them, following the principles of the ‘waste hierarchy’, rather than primarily focusing on increasing recycling rates.
2. Working together: Government, academia, industry and society must work together in a ‘Quadruple Helix’ collaboration towards common sustainability goals for CRMs, and begin by enabling tracking CRMs in product supply chains by covering CRM streams in the National Materials Datahub.
3. Invest in R&I: Funding budgets for research into development of CRM substitute materials, collaborative work with designers, and scale-up and commercialisation of recovery processes must be matched with the expected demand of CRMs required to achieve the government’s strategic innovation ambitions.
4. Product requirements: UK product requirements should include lifecycle impact reporting to assess environmental impact, eco-design to ensure that products can be cost-effectively upgraded, repaired, remanufactured and disassembled, and product labelling to inform and empower consumers. Implementation plans in the UK must include maximum efforts for global harmonisation.
Electronic Waste and the Circular Economy written evidence Aug 2019
Electronic Waste and the Circular Economy further evidence Apr 2020