Electrical equipment producers are to improve the organisation of the collection and recycling of their discarded appliances (e-waste). A new management body, the Netherlands producer responsibility e-waste organisation foundation (Stichting OPEN), will focus on ensuring the legal objectives are effectively and efficiently achieved on behalf of all producers. In the coming years, producers face the challenge of improving on the current e-waste collection results. Producers must comply with the European target of collecting 65% of all new appliances and lighting they place on the market and perform high quality recycling. The collection rate in 2018 was 49%.
Under the new structure, Stichting OPEN will assume responsibility for the collection and recycling of e-waste throughout the Netherlands. In contrast to the current situation, producers will centrally control the achievement of targets, allowing them to fulfil their producer responsibility. They will also be able to hold discussions with the government on a joint basis about achieving the objectives. This new approach responds to the wishes of the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management (IenW) to ensure that the targets are met as effectively as possible through improved management of the organisation and implementation of e-waste collection and recycling.
Separating management from implementation | Management activities are those that the producers must perform in line with their legal obligations connected to their producer responsibility. These shall come under the control of a single body – Stichting OPEN – that represents all producers and communicates on their behalf with the government. Implementation activities are those that are carried out by market operators, such as collection, sorting, transportation and recycling. These will be purchased in the open market on behalf of the management organization and thereby creating a level playing field. This will make the market more transparent and accessible and ensure greater competition, more efficiency and a fair distribution of costs for producers.
Combining forces instead of fragmentation | Under the new structure, existing product foundations for white goods, audio and visual equipment, lighting, tools, IT, solar panels (such as PV CYCLE Netherlands) and other electrical appliances will bring their functions together. Each area of activity will be directly represented on the board of Stichting OPEN. All management functions will be entrusted to Stichting OPEN, along with accountability to government and society.
Generally Binding Declaration (AVV in Dutch) | Producers who transfer their responsibility for achieving the e-waste collection target to Stichting OPEN will contribute to the cost in proportion to their activities. The foundation wants to ensure that this is carried out in a fair and transparent manner. Therefore, the foundation has asked the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management for a Generally Binding Declaration (Algemeen Verbindend Verklaring or AVV in Dutch) which requires all producers to pay their contribution (excluding light bulb producers, for which Stichting LightRec was granted an AVV in July 2019 until 1 January 2023). Cross-subsidisation of costs will be ruled out.
Stichting OPEN Ambitions | Stichting OPEN expects the new structure to be fully operational by January 1, 2021.
If the AVV is adopted, then Stichting OPEN can legally take control of product responsibility from 1 January 2021. That word ‘control’ requires some explanation. Control means that manufacturers determine jointly what is needed to realize the legal collection targets, what that will cost and how those costs can be allotted proportionally to each product group. Control does not mean that Stichting OPEN is taking over the market parties’ work. On the contrary. The implementation or the actual collection, sorting, transporting and recycling of e-waste we shall leave to the market parties as usual.
What are the consequences of an AVV?
An order declaring a collective agreement binding (AVV) obliges all manufacturers of electrical equipment that sell products on the Dutch market to contribute proportionally to their activities to the collection and processing of e-waste. This will produce a level playing field and a solid basis for financing the collection and recycling for which manufacturers are jointly responsible.
Is the AVV of Stichting OPEN intended to eliminate competition?
The central control of manufacturers is a not-for-profit agency and aims to take the necessary steps to realize the legal targets. No competitors are being eliminated. On the contrary, the AVV submission of Stichting OPEN aims to allow all existing implementing agencies to participate easily. An important aspect of the Stichting OPEN approach is indeed optimizing the market forces in the interest of the manufacturers and the environment. The actual collection, sorting, transporting and recycling of e-waste shall continue to be done by the market parties as usual.
What does this mean for members of PV CYCLE Netherlands?
The last quarter of 2020, our operations continue as they are today.
Also for Quarter 1 of the year 2021, we do not immediately expect significant changes.
Therefore reporting of the put-on-the-market data continues as well as the collection and treatment activities.
On September 15th, the Dutch Secretary of Infrastructure and Water has issued a draft regulation for the Generally Binding Declaration.
We shall inform you the coming weeks and months of the transition process and any development.
We remain available for any question through firstname.lastname@example.org.
Then we contact you swiftly.
The PV CYCLE Team