EU actions and existing challenges on electronic waste

A review by the European Court of Auditors has found that EU member States collect and recover more discarded electrical and electronic equipment than most of the world. The review addresses actions and challenges related to: implementation of existing e-waste treatment requirements; mismanagement of e-waste; illegal shipments and other criminal activities; and increasing e-waste collection, recycling, and reuse. E-waste refers to discarded electrical and electronic tools, household appliances, and large equipment such as photovoltaic panels, among other items. If not treated properly when discarded, it is detrimental to the environment. E-waste often contains metals and plastics that can serve as raw materials for new products, making it suitable for recycling. According to the review published on 20 May 2021, overall the EU currently recycles about 80% of the e-waste it collects. However, e-waste collection, recycling, and reuse are not equally effective in all EU member States.