Brazil aims at comprehensive e-scrap policy

Brazil aims at comprehensive e-scrap policy

By Editorial Staff, Resource Recycling

Brazil is moving forward with a comprehensive policy meant to manage the growing amount of electronic waste being generated in the South American country.

Marcus Oliveira, executive officer of recycling company Reciclo Metais and the sustainability director of the Brazilian Association of Electric and Electronic Recycling Companies, told E-Scrap News that the government has issued a final call for OEMs, importers, distributors and retailers to submit their reverse logistics plan for electronics.

According to Oliveira, within five years of submitting their plan, each company must collect 17 percent of the material they placed on the market, by weight, the year before they submitted their plan.

"Let's imagine they sign the whole thing this year so, in 2018, they must collect 17 percent of what they put on the market in 2012," says Oliveira.

Within five years, every city in Brazil with 80,000 people or more must have a permanent collection point for electronics under the law, which establishes a comprehensive framework for waste management in the country. Oliveira says there are about 350 cities in the country that meet the population threshold, and the law requires there to be one drop-off point for every 25,000 people. More rural areas will have periodic collection events, he says.

The law establishing electronic take-back requirements, according to Oliveira, requires OEMs, importers, distributors and retailers to come up with final agreement covering collection, implementation, transportation and other issues by the end of the year. If they don't, the government will issue a decree.

"I think we will have an agreement, but the biggest concern, especially from the OEMs, is how it will be enforced," he says.

According to Oliveira, there are still a few issues to be resolved, such as concerns from OEMs that importers bringing in products from Asia will not follow the same take-back regulations.

"You know, we had about two years of discussion before we had this final call [for take-back plans]," he says. "Of course, the OEMs don't want collection targets because the ownership of the product is on the user, so it would force them to bring them to the dropping-off points."

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