22 - 10 - 2019

OWA collection regulations

Small Action For The Planet

What are EPR and WEEE?

EPR is Extended Producer Responsibility, a policy that has existed in French law since 1975.

In practice, this means that manufacturers, distributors of their own-brand products and, in their absence, importers, are responsible for managing the waste generated by the products they have placed on the market.

The Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) sector, which has been in existence for 10 years, has enabled the establishment of a collection and treatment industry that is higher quality in environmental terms.

Did you know that...

More and more of us are using an ever-increasing number of electrical and electronic devices and equipment in our daily lives: mobile phones, tablets, computers, printers, household robots, household appliances of all kinds. The list is long…and it continues to grow year on year.

These devices contain plastics as well as pollutants and valuable components: even gold can be found in some of your phones in tiny quantities...

In this context, how can we best organise ourselves to limit their environmental impact by managing their recyclability and end of life?

The ARMOR solution

It was in response to this key question that ARMOR decided long ago to commit to an ecological approach by collecting laser and inkjet printer cartridges for its competitors in addition to those that it markets for its own brand.

In total, more than 800,000 laser cartridges and 2,300,000 inkjet cartridges from all brands are collected each year by ARMOR in Europe, i.e. more cartridges than ARMOR markets in the same geographical area.

This is a very positive result, which subsequently requires and ensures the selective sorting, recycling and material recovery of end-of-life cartridges.

How do the authorities and regulations contribute?

Until August 2018, this collection process for printer consumables was subject to a simple obligation to report waste transport and trading activities to the prefecture.

It is now governed by the WEEE Directive and its implementing texts, which stipulate that printing consumables meeting the characteristics of electrical and electronic equipment are included in the WEEE Directive and must be collected and processed in accordance with resulting obligations.

In the context of the WEEE Directive, the marketer is required to:

  • Place the crossed-out bin pictogram on the products it puts on the market.
  • The possibility to join an eco-organisation to which it delegates its responsibility for collection and end-of-life management of the device, or establish its own collection and recycling system (known as an "Individual System") declared to ADEME.

The eco-organisation is managed by its members and complies with the specifications that it has committed to with the relevant authorities.

At present, there are many eco-organisations that operate in very different sectors, ranging from furniture, medicines and tyres to clothing and textiles.

When the marketer has decided to join an eco-organisation, it provides funding by transferring the eco-fee it collects from the end consumer at the time of the sale of the product, whether in a store or via the Internet.

In accordance with the law, the eco-fee is indicated visibly on product labels, separately from the product price. Thus, funding for recycling and depollution of equipment by eco-organisations is transparent.

For Armor…

The ARMOR Group has chosen to declare the number of inkjet cartridges it places on the market to ECOLOGIC (1,222,167 inkjet and 641,007 laser cartridges), of which it is already a member as part of its photovoltaic film production and marketing activities; it has reported its Individual Collection System for laser cartridges to ADEME.

It is in this context that a Waste Management contract has been formalised between ARMOR and ECOLOGIC to proceed with usage audits.

Find out about the OWA collection service