Javier Cervera | President of Ecotic
The sector faces an enormous challenge and in turn a huge opportunity. Economic and environmental sustainability must transition towards a circular economy model, one that is more efficient in its use of resources, and which in turn continues to consolidate an important, innovative sector, ensuring present and future economic activity and employment.
Electronics companies have made an enormous effort to achieve the shared objectives established by the WEEE Directive, and the figures indicate that the rates of recycling and recovery of household equipment, both large and small, exceed these targets.
According to Eurostat data, the recovery rate for large domestic equipment stands at 91% and for small equipment it stands at 87%, while the rates for recycling are 84% and 77% respectively. Thus it can be considered that the industry values the vital importance of this activity and is continuing to move in the right direction to fulfil its objective to promote the environmental sustainability of our planet.
Achieving this transition will depend fundamentally on the adoption of a global approach that views sustainability as a comprehensive concept that ranges from the origin of raw materials, through design and manufacturing, to responsibility for the recovery of waste.
This will require a revision of the entire production cycle, one which will essentially affect manufacturing components, given that the greater their recycling potential, the easier their reincorporation into the manufacturing chain will be.
A decisive commitment to eco-design is required, conceptualising and manufacturing products that facilitate durability, repairability, reuse and recycling to minimize their impact in terms of the consumption of natural resources and the generation of pollution; whilst continuing to improve the energy efficiency of equipment, reducing their consumption and minimising their impact on the environment.
This transformation must be supported by clear and demanding regulations that establish and standardize the environmental responsibilities of companies. In this regard, it should be noted that regional authorities have recently approved a new package of measures aimed at prolonging the lifespan of devices which will significantly affect the production model.
These measures, which are expected to come into effect in April 2021, are aimed both at increasing durability and facilitating the repair of equipment. Without a shadow of a doubt, providing an appropriate response to these new guidelines will be one of the main challenges faced by the industry in the immediate future.
However, a genuine guarantee requires a shared commitment. Faced with a scenario of increasing regulatory complexity, the industry needs the collaboration of organisations that are capable of working with rigor and professionalism to help companies fulfil their environmental obligations.
Given that it has the support and trust of the main producers and member companies in the sector and with the added value brought by its magnificent team of professionals, we are convinced that Ecotic is the best option for electronics recycling in our country. I would like to take this opportunity to thank the entire Ecotic team for their dedication and effort and Ecotic’s member companies and producers for the trust they have placed in us.