Analysis of the “China WEEE Directive”: Characteristics, breakthroughs and challenges of the new WEEE legislation in China

University essay from Lunds universitet/Internationella miljöinstitutet

Abstract: This thesis provides a systematic analysis of Regulations for the Administration of the Recovery and disposal of Waste Electrical and Electronic products (RAW, often referred to as “China WEEE Directive”) that came into force in China on 1 January 2011 and finds out how well RAW and its (likely) implementation will address the weaknesses and concerns raised from past policies and practices for management of WEEE (waste electrical and electronic equipment) in China. With this purpose, an analytical framework is constructed containing the main components in the upstream, midstream, downstream and overall stream of electronics based on their flow in China. The analytical framework is used to systematically examine the shortcomings of the earlier WEEE policies in China, the characteristics and breakthroughs of RAW as well as the concerns and challenges for its implementation. Through literature review and interviews with experts, the overall picture of the earlier WEEE policies is mapped out and the progress and achievements of the earlier WEEE policies during the last decade are discussed. The review of RAW highlights some breakthroughs of WEEE legislation in China and indicates how RAW tries to avoid the shortcomings of the earlier policies. Stakeholders’ reflections on RAW and the latest picture of WEEE management in China are presented based on a series of interviews and a community survey, in addition to literature review. Various concerns are found from different stakeholders and it becomes apparent that the core challenge for the implementation of RAW is the development of the WEEE collection network. Finally, several suggestions are provided for further consideration on the implementation of RAW.

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