The UK's Department for Business Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (BERR) published a consultation on April 7 soliciting public comment on European Commission proposals to revise the WEEE and RoHS Directives. The consultation paper highlights the significant changes and poses questions for industry and others to address. Among other revisions, the proposal would establish under WEEE new collection targets for Member States and new targets for recovery and reuse/recycling. The proposal would also likely increase WEEE financing costs for producers. The proposed revisions to RoHS would include the possible review and restriction of four substances, specifically: hexabromocyclododecane (HBCDD); bis (2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP); butyl benzyl phthalate (BBP); and dibutylphthalate (DBP). Consultation responses (i.e., public comments) are due May 13, 2009.

The WEEE Directive (or Directive on Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment) aims to minimize the environmental impact of electrical and electronic equipment by encouraging its reuse, recycling and recovery when it is discarded at end of life. The RoHS Directive (or the Restriction on the use of certain Hazardous Substances Directive) ensures that all Member States observe similar restrictions on the levels of six hazardous substances in the same categories of electrical and electronic equipment.