Time is running out for manufacturers and disposers of electric appliances: by August 2004 the EU countries must have adopted, through national legislation, new directives for the disposal of used electric and electronic appliances as well as the restricted use of certain hazardous substances in electric and electronic appliances.
The aim of one of the directives is the environmentally acceptable disposal of used electric appliances, some of which contain hazardous components, which are increasingly being found in household waste. Among these are electric irons, food processors, electric shavers, toasters and electric tools that have a low recycling quota. A further directive on limitations of use stipulates that from July 2006, new electric and electronic appliances must no longer contain certain heavy metals and brominated flameproofing agents.
In any case, the recyclers and disposers of electronic scrap, as well as the manufacturers of new electric appliances, will very soon be required to be able to carry out analytical determinations to demonstrate that these directives are being observed.