BLOGS

October 2, 2019

Singapore, 6 March 2018 – As announced at the Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources (MEWR)’s Committee of Supply Debate, the National Environment Agency (NEA)

06 Mar 2018

This will ensure e-waste is managed effectively and efficiently; consumers will also benefit from greater convenience in collection of e-waste

Singapore, 6 March 2018 – As announced at the Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources (MEWR)’s Committee of Supply Debate, the National Environment Agency (NEA) will introduce regulatory measures to ensure that electrical and electronic waste (e-waste) is managed effectively and efficiently in Singapore. Building on existing voluntary e-waste recycling initiatives, the e-waste management system will be established by 2021. This will entail the assignment of responsibilities to key stakeholders in the e-waste value chain through Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR).

2.The system will cover end-of-life information and communications technology (ICT) equipment, solar photovoltaic panels, batteries and lamps, and certain household appliances. The full list of covered electrical and electronic equipment is in Table 1 of Annex A.

3.Under the EPR framework, producers of covered electrical and electronic equipment will be required to take on responsibility for the collection and proper treatment of e-waste. These producers are companies that manufacture or import covered electrical and electronic equipment for supply on the local market. Producers will have to fulfil collection targets set by NEA and ensure that the end-of-life electronic equipment collected are channelled for proper recycling and disposal. NEA will review the targets periodically before introducing a penalty framework. In the European Union (EU) for example, member states were initially required to collect 4 kg per capita of e-waste. The EU Commission has since revised the obligations, and member states are currently required to collect 45 per cent (by weight) of electronic goods sold on the market.

Licensing of Producer Responsibility Organisations

4.The producers of covered electrical and electronic equipment will be required to engage Producer Responsibility Organisations (PROs) to meet their obligations for the collection and proper treatment of e-waste. NEA will license these PROs, which will see to the collection, transportation, proper treatment, and reporting of e-waste collected on behalf of producers.

5.Producers of covered electrical and electronic equipment may work together to form their own PRO(s). Where necessary, NEA will appoint one or more PROs to support the roll-out of the system. Please refer to Annex B for a summary of main responsibilities for e-waste stakeholders.

Licensing of E-waste Recycling Facilities

6.NEA will also license e-waste recycling facilities. This will ensure that high safety and environmental standards are met during the disassembly and processing of all e-waste collected. E-waste contains small amounts of hazardous heavy metals such as mercury and cadmium. When improperly handled, the release of such substances into the environment may pose long-term health and environmental problems.

Greater Convenience for Consumers

7 Consumers can expect greater convenience when recycling their e-waste with the introduction of the e-waste management system. For example, in-store collection points will be available at all large retailers of covered electrical and electronic equipment, and retailers of covered electrical and electronic equipment will be required to provide free one-for-one take-back service during delivery. Please refer to Annex C for an infographic on the e-waste management system by 2021.

8 NEA has been working with major retailers of electrical and electronic equipment to voluntarily provide e-waste recycling bins at their outlets to bring immediate convenience to consumers as well as raise public awareness on the need to segregate and recycle e-waste. Companies such as Courts, Harvey Norman and Gain City have already agreed to come on board, and we hope for further participation by electronic equipment retailers.

9.NEA will continue to consult relevant stakeholders to define the implementation details of the regulated e-waste management system. In the coming months, NEA will also conduct market sounding on the industry’s interest for the formation of PROs and will call for ideas on feasible service models to manage producers’ responsibilities under the EPR framework.