Industry leaders to speak out against PV waste free-riders

Trina Solar, SunPower, Solar Frontier, JinkoSolar, Conergy, Aleo Solar and PV Cycle have expressed their concern about companies’ negligence to comply with legal requirements of EU-wide WEEE legislations.
The group – which is made up of leading PV companies and the world’s first take back and recycling scheme for all PV technologies – stated that today’s WEEE compliance efforts do not conform to the high commitment to sustainable lifecycle management that motivated the industry to operate its own voluntary take-back and recycling scheme from 2007 to 2012.

While WEEE compliance entails administrative as well as financial burdens, it also assures end-users and customers of the quality of their products. A high non-compliance rate would jeopardize customer trust in the PV industry and would threaten the marketability of those companies seeking to be compliant.
“Free-riders are a threat to the PV industry, especially in these difficult times, and a threat to our product’s promise: an all-green product”, said Axel Steuer, President of PV CYCLE. “Those who are compliant pay double the cost for PV waste management”.

Free-riders are companies who are not compliant with the Extended Producer Responsibility obligations of their EU-28 WEEE legislations. Some free-riders also misleadingly use the name and logo of a certified WEEE and waste management program, while in reality do not contribute to the financial responsibility imposed by the legislation.

It is expected that approximately 40 % of the EU market are not compliant today. The reasons include negligence as well as misinformation.