The European Recycling Platform (ERP) was created in 2002 as the only pan-European recycling organization, set up to meet the requirements of the European directive promoting e-waste collection and recycling, the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Directive (WEEE).
The goal is to properly manage waste from electric and electronic equipment (e-waste) and to reduce its volume through the collection, re-use, recycling and recovery of discarded end-of-life products. The WEEE directive is a European directive which requires the original Producers to ensure their take-back and recycling, so that end consumers must not face any additional cost at the moment of the disposal (Principle of producer responsibility).
ERP is a unique and ambitious venture based on this principle, for managing end-of-life products. Braun, Electrolux, Hewlett-Packard and Sony founded ERP as an alternative to the monopolistic e-waste take-back organizations then existing in Europe. Today, ERP is part of the Landbell Group and manages a consolidated network of international experts that allow ERP to:
- offer compliance and recycling services in 32 countries
- operate 32 compliance schemes in 17 countries
- be trusted by over 2.500 members across Europe
- have 100 employees constantly managing and monitoring ERP services
- have 32 Fortune-500 companies as members
As an independent recycling partner for packaging, WEEE and other waste streams and materials, we are constantly striving for innovation and working with customers to up with new recycling solutions. In cooperation with producers we enable them to comply with legal several legal obligations across Europe and to focus on their core business.
Electronic equipment’s Producers are always scrutinized for the ecological soundness of their products as well as their recycling and take-back policies. ERP, through its local organizations across Europe, has set up qualified collection and recycling networks, which meet specific law requirements and are integral part of the system which, finally, allows the consumers to return their discarded equipment for free.
THE WEELALABEX PROJECT AND THE ERP CASE
ERP continuously improves and innovates the recycling network, selecting directly the most appropriate and advanced recovery and recycling technologies available, and always striving to reduce the environmental impact of its activities.
For each ton of WEEE collected and treated, for instance, the contribution of ERP to reduce the environmental impact of its daily activities is measurable as follow:
Energy saving 0.4385 tep/ton Avoided CO2 emissions 8.3077 CO2 emissions (1 car) 185 g/km Average km by year (1 car) 30,000 km
One of the most relevant and recent example of the continuous improving approach of ERP to find the most advanced recovery and recycling solutions is its participation to the WEEELabex project (WEEE LABel of EXcellence), in which several different stakeholders are participating treatment operators, various take-back schemes and compliance schemes and representatives from industry and academia. They have created an harmonised set of standards which defines requirements applicable to all steps in the chain related to WEEE collection, logistics and treatment activities. The set of standards is foreseen by the Directive 2002/96/EC, having tough, stricter environmental and quality requirements that the operators need to abide.
ERP was deeply involved since 2009 in the WEEELabex standards definition and has launched in 2014 a project in some countries across Europe, to implement the WEEELabex among its suppliers, involving them in the application of this important standard. To be compliant to WEEELabex the recycling plant will have to fulfil specific requirements such as:
- more than 90% recovery of VFC for each fridge treated
- more than 1 kg of capacitors recovered for each ton of monitor treated
- more than 56 kg of printed circuit boards for each monitor treated
For the future, ERP looks for new challenging opportunities to extend its network in new countries and to new streams, such as packaging or other type of waste. In doing this ERP and the Landbell Group will bring its extensive experience coming from the direct presence in 17 countries, with the goal to approach the global market, making leverage on the solutions already explored within Europe.