The introduction of the EU Directive on Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) 2002/96/EC, and the EU Directive on the Restriction on Hazardous Substances in Electrical and Electronic Equipment (RoHS) 2002/95/EC address the important environmental issues of waste management. Electrical and Electronic Equipment has been identified as providing one of the fastest growing waste streams in Europe. EEE constitutes 4% of municipal waste today, and is increasing by a rate of 16% to 28% every five years, three times faster than the growth of average municipal waste. This increase in waste stems from the rapid developments in technology that has bestowed a shorter useful life time on consumer equipment, eg mobile phones, computer equipment, televisions, games consoles etc, rather than from the traditional electrical installation products.
The main requirement of the WEEE Directive is to reduce the amount of waste that goes to landfill, by requiring all manufacturers and producers to finance the collection of their products at the end of their life cycle, and for meeting targets for recovery, reuse and recycling. Accompanying the WEEE Directive is the RoHS Directive, which restricts the use of certain toxic substances, such as lead in printed circuit boards.
PageThe Directive apply to a wide variety of equipment across ten named categories of products. These include large and small household appliances, consumer goods such as TVs and Hi-fi equipment, through to toys, tools, medical equipment and automatic dispensers. Only a very small part of the MK product offering falls into the product categories covered by these Directives.
MK Wiring Devices, Circuit Protection and Cable Management products have proved, historically, through inbuilt quality, to provide a long service life.
Following consultations with the Department of Trade and Industry, European Commission and UK and European Trade Associations, the remaining products in the MK range have been confirmed as being outside the scope of both the WEEE and RoHS regulations. As such, no special disposal action is currently necessary at the end of the products’ life cycle, however we encourage the recycling of these products where facilities exist.
MK takes its environmental commitment seriously and will go beyond the requirement and the regulations. Although not legally required to do so, MK will, through its planned product improvement process, take all possible measures to remove the levels of hazardous materials specified in the RoHS regulations from all products within the MK range.