End of life decisions: a design guide
online resourceposted on 07.03.2006, 15:02 by Vicky LofthouseVicky Lofthouse, Tracy Bhamra
The European Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) directive is due to impact companies in the United Kingdom from January 2006 (Tollady, 2005). A key aim of this legislation is to reduce the environmental impact of electrical and electronic products by making producers responsible for recovering, reusing and recycling large percentages of the equipment they manufacture and import, once it reaches the end of its life. Despite this approaching deadline, the authors have found that many companies are still unclear about the implications this legislation will have on the design of their products. A key problem for companies is ensuring that design teams are aware of the requirements and feel empowered to develop products which are compliant. However, there are currently no practical tools to guide the design decision making process and support the development of financially viable, compliant electrical and electronic products. This paper reports on the SortED project which aims to develop an end of life decision making design guide to help companies quickly identify the implications of the WEEE directive on the products they design, manufacture and import, by guiding them towards appropriate design solutions that will help them get maximum revenue out of their products by using the restrictions of the Directive as an opportunity for innovation.