Sustainable pratices in the Electrical and Electronic Equiment (EEE) life cycle
The commercialization of EEE has increased significantly in recent decades, as a result of technological advances and rapid economic growth. Continuous innovation and production growth in in this sector have led to the development of different types of these products and, as a consequence, there is a greater diversity of Waste of Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE).
The application of Life Cycle Analysis allows companies to systematically identify and assess environmental impacts at all stages of EEE life cycle, from the extraction or raw materials synthesis, through production, transportation, use and resulting waste destination. With this information companies can design more sustainable EEE, contribute to the efficient use of resources and recovery of secondary raw materials with value, as well as prepare products for their reuse, recycling and other forms of recovery, reducing the amount of waste.
Through a preventive approach, it is possible to optimize EEE environmental performance and preserve its functional characteristics.
Producer Extended Responsibility
Regarding the Decree-Law no. 152-D, of 11 December, which establishes the legal regime to which the management of specific waste streams (such as WEEE) is covered, the principle of extended producer responsibility must include, also, sustainable processes in the products design and manufacture in order to facilitate and optimize their reuse, dismantling, recycling and other forms of recovery, as waste.
Thus, products put on the market must reflect concerns both in terms of the resources use global impacts, other impacts arising from the production and management of waste, as well as contributing to sustainable development, through practices such as:
- Eco-efficiency – reducing the quantities of raw materials or using recyclable and / or recycled materials;
- Ecodesign – product design in order to facilitate its dismantling, recycling or recovery, with less content of dangerous substances.
In accordance with the principle of extended producer responsibility, the producer is responsible for a significant part of the environmental impacts throughout its life cycle, especially in terms of the design and production of the products, which impacts will necessarily be reflected at the end of its life.
Extended Producer Responsibility video