Four leading producers of electrical and electronic appliances -- Braun, Electrolux, HP, and Sony -- have set up the first ever pan-European take back and compliance scheme for waste from electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE).
To administer the scheme, the companies have established the limited company ERP SAS, which is registered in Paris, France. The scheme, operating as the ERP WEEE Compliance Scheme, has been in development since December 2003 and is in response to the European WEEE Directive, which is due to come into effect across Europe in the second half of 2005.
"Our objective is to create the most cost efficient WEEE take back compliance scheme and to stimulate competition between WEEE take back systems in all EU countries," says Hans Korfmacher, assigned president of the ERP company. "We anticipate that the customers and consumers of each of the companies involved will benefit from the cost efficiencies we will achieve through the ERP."
ERP will outsource all operational activities, including recycling, logistics, and the administrative work to manage the operational activities to at least two general contractors. "ERP will take back WEEE from municipal and other collection points, such as retailers, in order to provide the best service for our customers and to ensure compliance for ERP Members," Mr. Korfmacher explained.
The ERP WEEE Compliance Scheme will focus on operations in Austria, France, Germany, Italy, Poland, Spain, and the UK and will apply for any necessary permits as the legislation and procedures become clear in each individual market. Additional countries will be considered at a later stage.
Based on the four founders, ERP represents an estimated 15 percent of the pan-European WEEE take back market. Negotiations are taking place with a number of other companies interested in becoming ERP Members. Membership of ERP will be limited to avoid ERP establishing any dominant position.
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