The European Recycling Platform (ERP) recently created a joint venture with the Israeli company Ecommunity to implement a WEEE and battery take-back scheme in Israel.March 17, 2014
17 March 2014
The European Recycling Platform (ERP) recently created a joint venture with the Israeli company Ecommunity to implement a WEEE and battery take-back scheme in Israel. The take-back scheme came into effect on March 1, 2014.
This news item is based on two interviews with ERP CEO Umberto Raiteri that were published on “Haaretz” and “The Jerusalem Post” (see sources below) when Mr. Raiteri was in Israel to kick-off the joint venture and meet with the Israeli Minister of the Environment and his Knesset staff.
The European Recycling Platform (ERP) recently created a joint venture with the Israeli company Ecommunity to implement a WEEE and battery take-back scheme in Israel.
“The first of March is a very important milestone,” explains ERP CEO Umberto Raiteri referring to the new Israeli law on electronic waste and batteries. Nearly 130,000 tons of e-waste is discarded every year in Israel. The new law, which came into effect on March 1, 2014, now requires that Israeli producers and importers of electronic devices collect and recycle 50% of this amount by 2021. Moreover, the law also requires that a similar amount of used batteries be recycled by 2019.
Although ERP’s typical business model is to launch its own local branch offices, as it has done throughout Europe, Mr. Raiteri described the Israeli joint venture as “collaboration between the local knowledge and reuse facility of Ecommunity and ERP expertise and custom-tailored tools. We possess a significant amount of knowledge, experience and skills that are definitely beneficial to countries where this type of legislation is new.”
ERP already operates outside of its core European market, in Brazil and Canada, but Mr. Raiteri underlined the importance of the Israeli market, where many of the large corporations that ERP already collaborates with in Europe have production facilities, affiliates and large-scale importers that all need to satisfy the conditions set by the new law on e-waste.
“Our corporation was founded by multi-national companies,” explains the ERP CEO, who will be in Israel this week. “Our goal is to encourage competition between different waste collectors in order to lower prices. ERP organizes and simplifies the logistics chain, bringing raw materials to recycling plants. Indeed, most of our profit comes from selling plastic and metals to factories.”
Although the Ecommunity reuse facility is small, Raiteri expects to develop it over the next 18 months to meet the scheduled increase in electronics waste. “This is a typical situation that we face in every country where we operate,” Mr. Raiteri pointed out. “Operations must be proportionate to the amount of waste recycled.”
Raiteri also praised Ecommunity’s enterprise model, which employs young disabled workers, noting that while this strategy is also in place in some European countries, it is still not very widespread. Indeed, Mr. Raiteri said he would be interested in making it a viable option for future plants in other countries.
“Everyone will be able to recycle electrical appliances and small portable batteries. Batteries, in fact, contain polluting materials such as lead and mercury that are extremely dangerous. Increasing public awareness on recycling obligations and opportunities is crucial not only to our health, but also for economic sustainability – and not only in Israel, of course.”
ERP CEO Umberto Raiteri meets with Amir Peretz, Israeli Minister of Environmental Protection
From left to right: Haim Yashar, E-Community Legal Counsel; Tsachi Ein Gal, E-Community JV Compliance Scheme CEO; Yossi Ben Shalom, E- Community Chairman of the Board; David Leffler, Director General, Israeli Ministry of Environmental Protection; Umberto Raiteri, ERP CEO; Amir Peretz, Israeli Minister of Environmental Protection; Christophe Pautrat, ERP COO; Andreas Bohnhoff, ERP Business Development & Supply Chain Management; Dani Kogan, E-Community Group CEO.