Making the circular economy a reality for lighting products
In a recent interview, EucoLight president highlighted the goals and the achievements of the association since its creation in 2015 and emphasised the challenges that its members will face in the near future.
Priorities that guided EucoLight’s choices from its beginning are still a reference point today, starting with the commitment to the principles of circular economy. It is undeniable that climate change mitigation and circular economy are key drivers of the EU policies for now and for the future.
Lighting WEEE Specifity
Lighting products have many characteristics that set them apart from other types of Electrical and Electronic Equipment (EEE) which require particular attention to the potential environmental impact at both collection and treatment phases up to the use of the recovered materials.
Lamps, notably, are fragile, light, and – some of them – contain Mercury. This renders, on the one hand, the management cost of this category of waste particularly high and, on the other hand, requires a special effort in communicating to citizens and society at large about the proper disposal of lamps.
Two Billon Lamps Recycled
Proof of their great experience and representativeness, the 19 EucoLight members collectively reached the milestone of recycling 2 billion lamps which is equivalent in weight to about 140 times the London Eye, a quantity of recycled lamps which in a row could circle the Earth 5 times.
EucoLight current issues
Aside from the goals achieved by the association, we cannot overlook the contribution given to the debate in the development of Waste legislations and standards affecting the collection and recycling of lighting WEEE. To this end, Marc Guiraud, EucoLight Secretary General, is constantly engaged in representing the positions developed by the members in the working groups with policymakers.
EucoLight is currently engaged in monitoring the revision of the Waste Framework and the WEEE Directives on topics such as: a new approach considering waste held by all involved actors and not only the take-back systems and an appropriate framework to tackle the huge level of non-compliant products supplied through online marketplaces in the EU market.
“The Digital Services Act has been a missed opportunity to tackle the non-compliance with extended producer responsibility obligations concerning goods sold online to consumers in the EU. We are now calling on EU policymakers to solve this issue in upcoming revisions of specific legislation” Marc Guiraud, EucoLight Secretary General
EucoLight working groups focus on future challenges for an even better management of lighting WEEE and environmental sustainability. They conduct common projects, among others, on ways to improve the treatment of end-of-life lamps and luminaires for the recovery of valuable materials and operations in an environmentally friendly manner.
Christmas is approaching. You might want to discard old or broken light sets. Bring them back to collection points set up by EucoLight members. They contain recyclable materials such as plastics, glass, and valuable metals.