The U.K.'s adaption of the EU's Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) Directive will come into force on January 1, 2014 in a move welcomed by PV Cycle.
According to the new directive, all PV modules that have reached their end-of-life (either because their warranty has expired or they have been damaged) must be disposed of in the correct manner. PV Cycle, with local presence in a number of European countries, is an organization that helps coordinate the take back and waste disposal of PV modules, managing a number of collection points across Europe and offering guidance on how PV producers can comply with the law and recycle their products accordingly.
"The regulations are traditionally focused upon ensuring collection and recycling of consumer products, but not necessarily on the very nature of PV panels with their long lifecycle and B2B character," said Burton. "Thankfully, the U.K.’s Department of Businees, Skills and Innovation (BIS) have taken a pragmatic approach, in consultation with the PV sector, to ensure that the industry takes responsibility without damaging its long-term sustainability objectives."
For the U.K. PV market, the new regulations require all importers of PV panels into the U.K. to register with a Product Compliance Scheme, which takes effect from January 1, 2014. The scheme asks that all producers take full financial responsibility of the waste disposal of the PV panels they supply to the market, in addition to reporting all important data, such as numbers supplied and locations distributed to.