The legislation on the management of waste from electronic products is founded on the principle of Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR), around which the entire European legislation has been defined. This principle introduces the concept that defines the Producer of Electrical and Electronic Equipment (EEE) as responsible for the environmental effects of its products not only during their life cycle, but also when they become waste.
According to this proposition, the Producer is required a commitment both from the point of view of design, by producing goods already oriented towards re-use, recycling and recovery, and from the managerial and economic one, by ensuring the transport and treatment of WEEE.
At the regulatory level, the WEEE Directive 2012/19/EU considers the producer responsibility “one of the means of encouraging design and production of EEE which take into full account and facilitate its repair, possible upgrading, re-use, disassembly and recycling”.
The aim of this Directive is to provide Member States with guidelines for the creation and sustenance of a WEEE management system aimed at:
preventing the production of such waste;
promoting the re-use, recycling and recovery of WEEE;
improving, from an environmental point of view, the life cycle of products;
reducing the use of hazardous substances in electrical and electronic equipment.
The WEEE Directive 2012/19/EU has been implemented in Italy by Legislative Decree 49/2014, the so-called WEEE Decree.
The Legislative Decree 49/2014 arises from the transposition of Directive 2012/19/EU which, in order to protect the environment and human health, defines the measures and procedures necessary for the improvement, prevention and reduction of the negative impacts deriving from the production of Electrical and Electronic Equipment and associated waste, both from households and businesses.