(photo credit: Illustrative photo/Recycling Supply)
The cabinet on Sunday approved government support for a bill proposed by the
Environmental Protection Ministry that would require producers of electronics
and batteries to finance their eventual disposal and waste treatment.
“e-waste” bill was initiated by Adam Teva V’Din – Israel Union for Environmental
Defense, and has been promoted by both the Environmental Protection Ministry and
MK Nitzan Horowitz (Meretz).
By placing responsibility for proper
disposal of the electronic goods on their manufacturers, the government can
reduce both health and environmental hazards, the Environment Ministry
If approved by the Knesset, the bill would require that
manufacturers and importers of electric goods recycle 50 percent of the total
weight of electronic equipment they sell annually, and that manufacturers and
importers of batteries recycle 25 to 35%, depending on the type of battery
Businesses that sell electronics would be required to accept old
devices without additional payment when a consumer is buying a new device of the
same kind, and stores that sell batteries would be required to have battery
By 2020, sending electronic equipment that has not been
recycled or reused to landfills would be illegal, according to the
“In modern times there is a huge increase in the replacement
purchasing of electronic products,” Environmental Protection Minister Gilad
Erdan said. “Televisions, refrigerators or computers are discarded, hurting our
health and environment.
The bill will regulate for the first time the
treatment mechanisms for waste generated by electronics and will require
manufacturers and importers of products to finance these treatment
The bill would also encourage the reuse of electronic
equipment and is another step by the ministry’s to deal with solid waste, which
of late have included implementing a Packaging Law and arranging separation of
waste at source in private homes, according to the ministry. Every year,
billions of electrical products are manufactured and only a small minority are
recycled and refurbished, the ministry reported.
In 2010, the ministry
estimated that the annual electronic waste in Israel weighed about 85,000
Adam Teva V’Din executive director Amit Bracha praised Erdan and
Horowitz for getting the legislation off the ground.
“This is the launch
of a dramatic bill that is part of the recycling revolution promoted by Minister
Erdan, which will transform the environmental nuisance of piles of electronic
waste into an economic resource, strengthen the recycling industry and provide
employment opportunities,” Bracha said.