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Carl Dalhammar

Carl Dalhammar

Senior lecturer

Carl Dalhammar

Regulating recyclability under the ecodesign directive : How can we achieve synergies between waste and product policies for electric and electronic equipment to promote recycling?


  • Sahra Svensson
  • Carl Dalhammar

Summary, in English

Introduction: The interaction between different product policies will be crucial for the further advancement of a coherent product policy framework. The Commission has stated that ‘the complex and interlocking approach needed to build a resource-efficient Europe can only be achieved with a policy mix that optimizes synergies and addresses trade-offs between different areas and policies’. In the context of the European Union’s Action Plan for the Circular Economy, one of the tasks set out is: ‘The Commission will examine options and actions for a more coherent policy framework of the different strands of work of its product policy’. This contribution will examine the interactions between the Ecodesign and Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) Directives, and how we can create a better synergy between the two different laws in order to promote recycling. While the WEEE Directive sets the framework for the proper treatment of WEEE, the Ecodesign Directive focuses on requirements that products should comply with when put on the market. The connection between the WEEE Directive and the Ecodesign Directive is expressed in recital 11 and Article 4 in the WEEE Directive, where it is said that ecodesign requirements with the potential to facilitate re-use, dismantling and recovery of WEEE should be promoted. In recital 35 of the Ecodesign Directive, the WEEE Directive is listed as one of the ‘complementary’ laws. The Circular Economy Action Plan also puts emphasis on increased recycling of WEEE and states: ‘In order to promote a better design of these products, the Commission will emphasize circular economy aspects in future product design requirements under the Ecodesign Directive’. Hence, the main focus of this chapter is: how could recyclability issues be taken more into account in the process of setting ecodesign requirements? This chapter builds on a legal analysis and a literature study, as well as three interviews with a production manager at a recycling company, a sustainability manager at Samsung Electronics Nordic and a scientist at Chalmers Industriteknik (CIT), in Sweden. The interviews were conducted in order to elicit practitioners’ perspectives on experienced barriers and the most appropriate ways forward.


  • The International Institute for Industrial Environmental Economics

Publishing year







Preventing Environmental Damage from Products : An Analysis of the Policy and Regulatory Framework in Europe

Document type

Book chapter


Cambridge University Press


  • Law and Society




  • ISBN: 9781108422444
  • ISBN: 9781108500128