The OPEN Foundation and WEEE Nederland signed a cooperation agreement

November 30, 2020 | Today, the OPEN Foundation and WEEE Nederland B.V. signed a cooperation agreement. With this collaboration, the national coverage and continuity of the existing waste management structure for Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE or e-waste) is guaranteed. The goal is to achieve the statutory collection target of 65 percent within two years and to make the e-washing sector circular in the long term. The OPEN Foundation assumes the producer responsibility for this from central management, on the basis of a decision (AVV) announced by the State Secretary. WEEE Netherlands is continuing its current collection, education and sorting concepts within this. “The agreement with WEEE Nederland further optimizes a nationwide network of collectors, sorters and processors”, says Jan Vlak (project director of the OPEN Foundation).

With the agreements made, the OPEN Foundation and WEEE Nederland aim to contribute to the transition to the circular economy from their own background, knowledge and experience. After the AVV has been awarded, the OPEN Foundation directs the achievement of the collection targets on behalf of the producers in the most effective and efficient way. WEEE Netherlands will then continue its current activities in the field of consultancy, collection, transport, sorting and processing of e-waste.

With the agreement between Stichting OPEN and WEEE Nederland, existing agreements with municipalities and (public) waste companies, recycling companies and other partners will be continued. “Our ideas will be continued in a new structure,” says Reint Sekhuis (director WEEE Netherlands). Social Return On Investment (SROI) with the deployment of people at a distance from the labor market also remains a spearhead in this respect. Connecting the circular economy and the social economy is of great value to producers and our society. This is confirmed with this agreement.

The continuity and national coverage of the existing collection and processing capacity is guaranteed at the moment the General Binding Statement (AVV) of the OPEN Foundation comes into effect.
The OPEN Foundation hopes for a soon final decision on this by State Secretary Van Veldhoven of Infrastructure and Water Management (IenW). If the AVV is definitively awarded in 2020, the OPEN Foundation will be operational from the beginning of 2021 and will thus ensure the full implementation of the legal producer responsibility.

About the OPEN Foundation

At the end of 2019, more than 2,000 producers of white goods, ICT, audio and visual equipment, tools, fixtures and solar panels joined forces and set up the OPEN Foundation (Organization for Producers Responsibility for E-waste Netherlands). The goal of this non-profit foundation is to meet the statutory collection target of 65 percent and to make e-waste circular. The existing innovative strength and collection, sorting and processing activities form the basis for the waste management structure. Social Return On Investment (SROI) also remains important and desirable. If the AVV is definitively awarded in 2020, the OPEN Foundation will be operational at the beginning of 2021 and will take over the implementation of the legal producer responsibility.

About WEEE Nederland B.V.

WEEE Nederland was founded 7 years ago and now carries out producer responsibility for 750 producers / importers together with partner organizations. Many municipalities, retailers and recycling organizations use the collection and sorting concepts of WEEE Netherlands. In addition to SROI, innovation, CO2-neutral collection and the pursuit of a circular economy are important goals. WEEE Netherlands also supports and advises manufacturers and importers with the European registration for producer responsibility for WEEE.

Ministry issues positive draft AVV decision to Stichting OPEN

An important step in the circular ambitions of the e-waste sector

Zoetermeer, 15 September 2020 - Today, Stientje van Veldhoven, State Secretary for Infrastructure and Water Management (IenW) issued a draft decision for an order declaring a Generally Binding Declaration (AVV). Through an AVV, producers associated in Stichting OPEN can fulfil the statutory producer responsibility for Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE or e-waste) for a long period of time. The producers want to achieve the collection targets and make e-waste circular within two years with this cooperation. An AVV has room for market initiatives in the implementation, while ensuring coordination and mutual reinforcement thanks to the combining of strength.

Jan Kamminga, chairman of Stichting OPEN, is pleased with the draft decision:‘With the AVV, producers of electrical appliances can jointly take on the enormous challenge in the field of e-waste. On the way to a fully circular economy, we want to collect as many materials as possible and reduce CO2 emissions.’ The draft decision will be made available for inspection for six weeks before a final decision is issued.

AVV supports the realisation of objectives

For the more than 2,000 producers behind Stichting OPEN, the environmental benefits are central. They have requested the AVV so they can jointly fulfil the Extended Producer Responsibility (UPV) for the sector. In 2019, the collection rate was 48%, which is equivalent to around 199,000 tons of electrical and electronic waste. This means the collection target of the European Directive of 65% has not been achieved and the producers have decided on a new strategy. Centralised control and large scale are needed to make e-waste truly circular; both in terms of commitment and in terms of financing. The AVV makes it possible to combine strength, to maintain the existing collection structure, to make agreements with producers and supply chain partners and to finance the project in a transparent manner over the long term.

Stichting OPEN has asked professor of Sustainable Entrepreneurship Prof. Jan Jonker to write a plan for broad-based research into implementation instruments. Among other things, a return premium system is being looked into and how this can contribute to the efficient and effective achievement of the collection target. Following the positive draft decision of the State Secretary, this research will be launched in co-creation with supply chain parties and guided by a committee headed by Jan Jonker. Also following the draft decision, research bureau Rebel will start drawing up a 65% Action Plan to program the extra activities arising from the AVV request aimed at collecting additional volume. The structuring of the supply chain cooperation and the recommendations from the evaluation of the recently completed 65% Plan of Action will be part of this.

Sector pleased with AVV possibilities

Not only the realisation of the objectives is within reach thanks to the AVV. The solid organisation of producers also makes it possible to respond decisively to new developments. Think of the increasing internet sales, stricter standards for CO2 reduction and raised targets for product reuse and the reuse of used materials. So producers and supply chain partners who are committed to making the e-waste sector more circular regard the AVV draft decision as an important milestone.

Rob Idink, managing director of HP and chairman of Stichting ICT Milieu: ‘Producers have the power at Stichting OPEN. Moreover, making the e-waste sector circular is of general importance, which is why we support Stichting OPEN’s mission.’

Robert Kapteijn, Chief Sales Officer ATAG: ‘This is a major step towards a level playing field where all producers pay a fair contribution towards fulfilling the producer responsibility, which will be extended further in the years to come.’

Rob de Koning, director general Benelux at Flex Power Tools and chairman of Stichting Verwijdering Elektrisch Gereedschap (SVEG) sees advantages in joint control over the disposal of e-waste: ‘As an individual producer, the responsibility of arranging for the disposal of e-waste is enormous. The fact that Stichting OPEN will be taking on this responsibility on behalf of the producers is a really good step.’

Michiel van Schalkwijk, managing director at SOLARWATT Benelux and chairman of Stichting Zonne-energie Recycling Nederland (ZRN): ‘Stichting ZRN strives for a level playing field for all producers of solar panels, while at the same time meeting all legal obligations for recycling and fairly distributing the cost of recycling among all producers, taking into account the long lifespan of solar panels. This is only possible with central coordination. That is why ZRN has joined Stichting OPEN.’

Director Jan van de Wouw at United Retail hopes the AVV will boost cooperation with supply chain partners: ‘It is absolutely crucial that the entire retail sector, together with producers, structurally join efforts as equal partners for a circular economy.’

Cooperation with supply chain partners essential

In the implementation, Stichting OPEN will work closely with supply chain partners, based on recognition and respect for everyone’s position and responsibility. Parties such as retailers, municipalities, collectors and treatment companies form the vanguard of the circular economy. Thanks to the collection and treatment of waste washing machines, televisions and mobile telephones, for instance, they contribute daily to the recycling of materials and the reduction of CO2 emissions. Their knowledge and experience is essential for achieving the collection target and making e-waste circular. So it is only logical that they will keep their role in the implementation and that competition in the market contributes to a broad and innovative supply.

Restructuring boosts closed loop recycling

New organisational structure for collection and recycling of e-waste aims to achieve ambitious long-term collection targets for Europe

Zoetermeer – 18 December 2019
Electrical equipment producers are to improve the organisation of the collection and recycling of their discarded appliances (e-waste). A new management body, the Netherlands producer responsibility e-waste organisation foundation (Stichting OPEN*), will focus on ensuring the legal objectives are effectively and efficiently achieved on behalf of all producers. In the coming years, producers face the challenge of improving on the current e-waste collection results. Producers must comply with the European target of collecting 65% of all new appliances and lighting they place on the market and perform high quality recycling. The collection rate in 2018 was 49%.

Under the new structure, Stichting OPEN will assume responsibility for the collection and recycling of e-waste throughout the Netherlands. In contrast to the current situation, producers will centrally control the achievement of targets, allowing them to fulfil their producer responsibility. They will also be able to hold discussions with the government on a joint basis about achieving the objectives. This new approach responds to the wishes of the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management (IenW) to ensure that the targets are met as effectively as possible through improved management of the organisation and implementation of e-waste collection and recycling.

"The producers’ (trade)associations have recognised that they will not meet the statutory collection target with the current fragmented and complex organisation of e-waste collection," says Jan Kamminga, chairman of Stichting OPEN. "We cannot avoid drastically streamlining the whole system, with a single body controlling the process on behalf of all producers, while the collection, transportation and recycling of e-waste is purchased in the market."

Separating management from implementation | Management activities are those that the producers must perform in line with their legal obligations connected to their producer responsibility. These should come under the control of a single body that represents all producers and communicates on their behalf with the government. Implementation activities are those that are carried out by market operators, such as collection, sorting, transportation and recycling. These will be purchased in the open market on behalf of the management organisation.

Combining forces instead of fragmentation | Under the new structure, existing product foundations for white goods, audio and visual equipment, lighting, tools, IT, solar panels and other electrical appliances will bring their functions together. Each area of activity will be directly represented on the board of Stichting OPEN. All management functions will be entrusted to Stichting OPEN, along with accountability to government and society.

The foundation will establish contracts with collectors, transporters and recyclers in the market through its own purchasing organisation, thereby creating a level playing field. This will make the market more transparent and accessible and ensure greater competition, more efficiency and a fair distribution of costs for producers.

Generally Binding Declaration | Producers who transfer their responsibility for achieving the e-waste collection target to Stichting OPEN will contribute to the cost in proportion to their activities. The foundation wants to ensure that this is carried out in a fair and transparent manner. Therefore, the foundation will ask the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management for a Generally Binding Declaration (AVV) which requires all producers to pay their contribution (excluding light bulb producers, for which Stichting LightRec was granted an AVV in July 2019 until 1 January 2023). Cross-subsidisation of costs will be ruled out.

"This type of AVV, where management and implementation are separated, has been used for years with good results, for example by Stichting Afvalfonds Verpakkingen (waste packaging) and by Stichting LightRec for the collection and recycling of light bulbs," says Jan Kamminga. "A new AVV for this was recently issued by the Ministry. This instrument provides the desired management control and a level playing field for all producers. We therefore believe that this instrument will make a crucial contribution to the streamlined organisation we are aiming for. In preparation for the new structure, the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management has indicated that it is looking forward with interest to receiving an AVV application from Stichting OPEN."

Stichting OPEN Ambitions | Stichting OPEN expects the new structure to be fully operational in six to nine months. It expects to give a significant boost to e-waste collection and recycling, working towards closed loop recycling for electronics. The level of collection this year does not yet meet the new European collection targets, which require from each Member State that the volume of collection and recycling is at least 65% of the volume of new electrical appliances placed on the market.

The current approach to increasing collection under the wing of the Monitoringberaad (monitoring council), where producers work alongside all other stakeholders in the chain, will continue as usual. The Monitoringberaad and stakeholders will be involved in implementing the new structure.