Newsletter Issue 4/2019

December 20th, 2019

The latest news from the field of waste management and from our company.

Dear Ladies and Gentlemen,

In our winter newsletter we proudly present the winner of this year´s Green Alley Award and inform you about new developments regarding the scope of the WEEE ordinance. The new list of devices is already available for download. The Economic Chamber has created a website dedicated to the topic of lithium batteries, and the Elektroaltgeräte Koordinierungsstelle has produced a video as part of the public relations work on the topic of the correct disposal of WEEE and batteries - „Do it like the Watt´s!“ We report from the E-Waste World Conference 2019 in Frankfurt and introduce you to our Whitepaper regarding the advancement of the circular economy.

Thank you for your trust in our services! We wish you a merry Christmas and peaceful holidays!

Your ERP Austria team


Gelatex Technologies wins Green Alley Award 2019

This year, the Green Alley Award goes to Estonia: The start-up Gelatex Technologies convinced the expert jury on the 17th of October during a live pitch. The Estonian start-up prevailed against five other young businesses from the circular economy branch.

The winning idea: A gelatin-based alternative to conventional leather. The jury was particularly impressed with the high level of innovation of the Gelatex Technologies product. The environmentally friendly alternative to leather is made from low-value gelatin waste from the meat and leather industries, produced without the use of toxins and is organic and biodegradable. As thickness and texture can be adapted to customer needs, Gelatex is attractive for both the textile and automotive industry.

Märt-Erik Martens, CTO of Gelatex Technologies, pointed out which added value his idea offers for the circular economy: ‘With Gelatex we want to offer an alternative to leather which is eco-friendlier but also cheaper.’

The Green Alley Award is Europe's first startup prize for the circular economy. Since 2014, Landbell Group has been honoring start-ups whose ideas help to make their branch more sustainable. In 2019, 274 start-ups from over 30 countries applied with their business from the fields Digital Circular Economy, Recycling or Waste Prevention. Six finalists amazed the jury with green alternatives to conventional materials or biodegradable packaging. Our CGM, Mag. Sabine Balaz, was in Berlin as expert and sponsor of the awards and supported the finalists with mentoring-talks. ‘New approaches are needed to master the new challenges of the circular economy. There are many start-ups with great, innovative ideas and it´s a delight to support them’, says Balaz.

The distinction with the Green Alley Award is combined with a prize money in the amount of 25.000 Euro with the option for a crowdfunding-campaign with the partner Seedmatch.


Scope of the WEEE ordinance – New developments - List of Devices 2020

New category “Small IT and telecommunications devices”

As of the year 2020, the devices put on the market will be classified in the six device categories according to Appendix 1a of the WEEE ordinance. “Small IT and telecommunication devices” no longer belong to the small domestic appliances but are getting a new category.

The Federal Ministry for Sustainability and Tourism has therefore published a new list of devices: This list contains examples of devices in alphabetical order. You can also download the list from our homepage.

It states if a device is subject to the WEEE ordinance (2nd column), which collection and treatment category according to Appendix 3 the device should be attributed to (4th column), if it is a small IT device, and whether such equipment, as a rule, is deemed for purely commercial use (5th column).

The following devices belong, among others, to the small IT and telecommunication devices: PC´s, printers, smartphones, scanners, cordless telephones, servers, but also data cables or USB-sticks.

Electric Scooters

Electric scooters or e-scooters are playing, sports, and fun devices for adults and teens, but are also increasingly used as a means of getting to work. Especially in large cities they get more and more important. By now, you can find e-scooters for rent everywhere in the areas close to the centre of Vienna.

The Federal Ministry for Sustainability and Tourism decided in the last scope meeting that all electric scooters are classified as “domestic appliances”. Therefore, they must be disposed of by all producers/renters. Since they thus are considered as large domestic appliances, the batteries are also „portable batteries”. This is a specialty in Austria – in the rest of the EU they are classified as industrial batteries.

Toner Cartridges

Toner cartridges with electronic components designed for an industrial pedestal copier are considered as industrial devices according to the ministry. Toner cartridges can therefore be classified as “domestic appliances“ as well as “industrial appliances“.

Heat pump dryers

Heat pump dryers are very energy efficient and have a different operating principle than tumble, condensation, or ventilation dryers. All heat pump dryers with refrigerants are not classified as “Large domestic appliances“, but as „Heat exchangers”.


Lithium batteries: Careful handling and correct disposal

Currently, lithium batteries are constantly present in the covering of environmental topics. The percentage of lithium batteries in the amount of portable batteries put on the market is constantly rising, because lithium has numerous advantages due to its product characteristics. Lithium batteries have a high energy density and a low self-discharge, which makes them significantly lighter and long-lasting than conventional batteries. However, proper use and correct disposal at the end of life are essential, because lithium batteries can act highly reactive in case of damages, which can lead to fires and explosions. Therefore, it is important to know what has to be taken into account when dealing with lithium batteries.

The Austrian Economic Chamber has created a special website for this topic ( Interested persons can find out about the different battery types and check which appliances could contain lithium batteries. The proper use, storage, and disposal are explained comprehensibly and interesting and completed with background information and answers to frequently asked questions.


Instructional video “Do it like the Watt´s”

Despite increasing requirements, the Austrian collection masses of domestic WEEE and waste portable batteries could be slightly increased in 2018 and the EU collection rates for WEEE and waste portable batteries of 45 percent each could be reached. Nevertheless, to reach the collection rate of 65 percent required for WEEE from 2019 will pose a major challenge. A significant increase of collection masses can only be managed through information and awareness initiatives distributed as broadly and intensively as possible, which contribute to the strengthening and enhancement of the willingness to collect WEEE in Austria.

A new accent in awareness-raising activities is the intensified distribution of information over Social Media. Since pictures and films are ideally suited to create awareness especially regarding the younger target group, the Elektroaltgeräte Koordinierungsstelle (WEEE coordination body) produced an instructional video that calls for behavioural changes. Role model is the “Watt family”, whose everyday life is the setting for a vivid and easily understandable presentation of the topic of broken electrical appliances and batteries in simple pictures.

The short film „Do it like the Watt´s” is shown on Social Media channels and gets promoted commercially. Through sharing the film on as many websites and facebook pages as possible, a free of charge, organic coverage can be achieved, and so the film can develop to be an efficient instrument for awareness raising.

The link to the video can be found here.


ERP at the E-Waste World Conference 2019

Sabrina Zanin, Global Key Account Manager of the European Recycling Platform, was speaking at this year’s E-Waste World Conference in Frankfurt about “ONE YEAR ON: European Union WEEE Open Scope”. The conference took place on 14th and 15th November and focused on three topics in the industry: e-waste challenges and opportunities; green and sustainable electronics; and electric vehicles and battery recycling. Each of the three topics featured presentations from more than 25 industry professionals over the course of the two-day program.

This year’s conference came hot on the heels of the United Nation’s climate summit in New York, where world leaders came together to discuss solutions to the climate crisis. Sustainable electronics and more robust waste reduction strategies stand to play a leading role in mitigating the severity of climate change.


New website for Landbell Group white paper

Landbell Group has set up a new website for its recently published white paper on the circular economy. Like the paper, the website presents the achievements made so far, points out the challenges ahead, and provides some policy recommendations which would enable all parties to contribute to the transition to the circular economy in the most effective way.

The Landbell Group white paper is called “Innovative and sustainable: Transitioning Europe towards a circular economy” and was published in September (see article here).

It can be downloaded from the new website.