Research conducted in five European countries explored the perception and behaviors of citizens in the disposal of waste light bulbs, lighting appliances and other household appliances. It reveals that a high percentage know of the need to recycle waste electrical and electronic (WEEE) items and where to recycle. They consider separate waste collection of WEEE as a primary element to the protection of our environment.
The survey was conducted in Austria, Germany, Italy, Netherlands and Spain by GFK Italy, and commissioned by members of EucoLight, the European association of lighting WEEE compliance organizations.
Commenting on the results Marc Guiraud, Secretary General of EucoLight said “It is encouraging to see that a large majority are motivated in separate waste collection to increase recycling, and that they perceive it as one of the best behaviors and actions for the environment.”
Disposal of waste lamps
Looking at the results of the research specifically dedicated to the disposal and recycling of lamps, it emerges that:
- Between 62% and 88% correctly identified the right place for disposal.
- Between 61% and 75% use municipal collection points to recycle waste lamps,
- With a higher incidence in Italy and Austria, where more than 30% regularly use municipal sites to dispose these items.
- The percentage of waste lamps disposal with the return service on 1to1 or 1to0 basis, at the point of sale is lower, ranging from 38% to 59%, with a more significant application in Spain, Netherlands, and Germany.
The responses for lighting appliances were similar to those for lamps.
Citizens ask for more information on the correct disposal of WEEE
The data appears to confirm the effectiveness of communication and awareness campaigns, along with the growing environmental culture and willingness to apply eco-sustainable behaviors. Results suggest a need to intensify information and communication activity to reach those, between 5% and the 22% of the sample, who are not aware of the need to separate lamps and other WEEE from general waste.
A need for more information has been also explicitly expressed by the citizens interviewed. They consider the opening hours and the distance of the places of disposal for WEEE on average to be adequate. But between 40% and 57% reported a lack of information available in store or between 24% and 42% (depending on the Country of reference) provided by the staff.
A large majority in all five countries (between 76% and 84%) say that Producers, distributers, stores, and online-marketplaces of WEEE should inform about their collection and recycling services. This will help to raise the awareness for proper recycling behavior.
 The Survey was conducted with a CAWI (Computer Aided Web Interviews) methodology, on a target of 1000 Men & Women 16-70 years old per each country. Fieldwork: 13rd – 27th January, 2020
EucoLight is The European association of collection and recycling organisations for WEEE lamps and lighting. On behalf of its 20 members, EucoLight engages with everything related to the WEEE Directive, legislations and standards affecting the collection and recycling of WEEE lighting. EucoLight members collect and recycle, in aggregate, 80 % of the lamp waste collected in the 19 countries in which they operate.
EucoLight is the voice of European WEEE compliance schemes specialised in managing the collection and recycling of WEEE lighting; working to make the circular economy a reality for lighting products.
Founded mid-2015, EucoLight has quickly embarked into constructive dialogue with relevant stakeholders to provide expertise in the field of management and treatment of WEEE lighting and to promote the positive role of Extended Producer Responsibility schemes on the environment and society.
For more information, visit the EucoLight website www.eucolight.org, follow EucoLight on Twitter @EucoLight or contact the Secretary General, Marc Guiraud (firstname.lastname@example.org).