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RoHS and WEEE for e-Waste

Electronic waste or e-waste defines rejected electrical or electronic devices or equipment’s. The process of disassembling and placing of electronic waste in developing countries causes a number of environmental effects. These hazardous elements from e-Waste affect the water, soil and air. Government considered this situation as serious matter and came with two regulations for e-Waste i.e. RoHS and WEEE for e-Waste.

Let learn more about these in detail;
RoHS and WEEE for e-Waste
RoHS and WEEE for e-Waste


  • Electronic waste or e-waste may be defined as rejected computers, electronic equipment for office, entertainment electronic devices, cellular phones, television sets, refrigerators and other household electronic equipment’s.
  • This e-waste contains used electronics equipment’s which are meant for reuse, resale, retrieve, recycling, or discarding and secondary leftovers like; copper, plastic, steel, etc.
  • The word "waste" means remains or material of equipment’s which is discarded by the consumer rather than recycling those materials. 
  • E-waste or electronic waste is generated when an electronic product is thrown away after the end of its valuable life.
  • The fast progression of technology means that a very huge quantity of e-waste is generated daily.
  • More gadgets, more users and quicker device replacement have contributed to the development of e-waste.
  • Contact from unsuitable e-waste handling has been linked to many health concerns.
Electronic Waste
To tackle above issues generated by e-waste, many law agencies or directive creators or government decided to make some rules and regulations, which they termed as RoHS and WEEE. Let’s discuss these in detail;


RoHS stands for "Restriction of Hazardous Substances". RoHS, is also called as Directive 2002/95/EC, created in the European Union and which controls the use of specific harmful materials found in electrical and electronic products or equipment’s.

More details on RoHS you can find in our previous article. Please click below link to know more;

"RoHS and RoHS Substances"


Full form of WEEE is “Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment”. Objective of WEEE compliance is to boost the design of electronic equipment’s by keeping environmentally safe, recycling and recovery in mind. RoHS compliance comes together with WEEE by reducing the amount of hazardous chemicals used in electronics manufacturing.

RoHS controls the hazardous substances used in electrical and electronic equipment’s, while WEEE controls the discarding of this same electrical and electronic equipment’s.

Let see WEEE in more detail;
  • This European law applies to an extensive range of electronic and electrical equipment’s.
  • WEEE boosts the collection, treatment, recycling and retrieval of waste electrical and electronic equipment’s. It applies to a vast range of products, and inspires and sets standards for the collection, treatment, recycling and recovery of waste electrical and electronic equipment’s.
  • Waste of electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) such as computers, TV-sets, fridges and cell phones is one the fastest growing waste products in the European Union.
  • To address environment related problems, two parts of legislation have been put in place: The Directive on waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE Directive) and the Directive on the restriction of the use of certain hazardous substances in electrical and electronic equipment (RoHS Directive).
  • The Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Directive (WEEE Directive) is the European Community Directive 2012/19/EU on waste electrical and electronic equipment which, together with the RoHS Directive 2011/65/EU, became European Law in February 2003 and aims to minimize the impacts of electrical and electronic equipment on the environment during its lifetime and when it becomes waste.
  • The first WEEE Directive (Directive 2002/96/EC) come into the force in February 2003. The Directive delivered for the formation of collection arrangements where consumers return their WEEE free of cost. These arrangements aim to rise the recycling of WEEE or re-use of the products and components.
  • In December 2008, the European Commission planned to review the Directive in order to control the very fast growing waste products. The new WEEE Directive 2012/19/EU come into force on 13 August 2012 and became operative on 14 February 2014.
  • European Union regulation which limits the use of hazardous substances in electrical and electronic equipment’s (RoHS Directive 2002/95/EC) comes into the force in February 2003. The regulation requires hazardous materials such as lead, mercury, cadmium, and hexavalent chromium and flame retardants such as polybrominated biphenyls (PBB) or polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDE) to be replaced by harmless replacements. In December 2008, the European Commission planned to review the Directive.
  • European Union regulation limiting the use of hazardous materials in electrical and electronic equipment (EEE) and encouraging the collection and recycling of such equipment’s has been in force since February 2003.
  • Further the necessities for selective treatment for materials and components of Waste of Electronic and Electrical Equipment (WEEE), the WEEE Directive and national law/regulation on WEEE force member states to create and keep a registry of producers putting electrical and electronic equipment’s into the market.
  • The WEEE Directive covers the use of WEEE for both, consumers and professional purposes;
  1. Private consumers will be able to return their WEEE to collection services free of charge.
  2. Producers (includes; manufacturers, sellers, distributors) will be liable for taking back and recycling electrical and electronic equipment’s.
  3. Producers have to necessary attain a sequence of recycling and recovery objectives for different categories of electrical and electronic equipment’s.
  • The WEEE Directive needs that Member States confirm a objective, by the date 31 December 2006, of at least 4 kilograms of WEEE per resident per year is being collected from private household consumers.
  • The WEEE directive sets a total of 10 groups of WEEE for reporting purposes;
  1. Large household appliances
  2. Small household appliances
  3. IT and telecommunications equipment’s
  4. Consumer equipment’s
  5. Lighting equipment’s
  6. Electrical and electronic tools
  7. Toys, leisure and sports equipment’s
  8. Medical devices
  9. Monitoring and control instruments and equipment’s
  10. Automatic dispensers
  • The following products are exempted or out of range of WEEE;
  1. Implanted and Infected equipment’s
  2. Large Scale Stationary Industrial Tools and equipment’s
  3. Military equipment’s
  4. Automotive equipment’s
  5. Aerospace/Aircraft equipment’s
  6. Surface Transportation equipment’s

WEEE Symbol

The symbol accepted by the European Assembly to symbolize waste electrical and electronic equipment contains a crossed-out wheelie bin with or without a single black line below the symbol. The black line shows that products have been placed in the market after the year 2005, when the Directive came into force. The products without the black line were manufactured between the year 2002 and the year 2005, in such cases, these are treated as "Historic WEEE" and fall outside compensation via manufacturer compliance systems.

The WEEE symbol must be positioned on an EEE product if the product falls in one of the 10 groups and is placed into the European Union market after the date 13th August 2005. The product is treated as "new WEEE”. Manufacturers must deliver refurbishment, treatment and reuse information for each "new WEEE”.

Below are the images of both the types of symbols;
WEEE Symbol without black line
WEEE Symbol with black line


The regulation like WEEE offers the creation of collection arrangements, where customers return their used waste related to Electrical and Electronics free of charge. The aim of these arrangements is to increase the recycling and/or re-use of such products. On the other hand the regulation like RoHS limits the use of hazardous substances in electrical and electronic equipment’s. Both are playing an important role to tackle the issue of e-waste and encouraging us to keep safe our environment.

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