Earlier this year the European Commission initiated a working group to guide the implementation of RoHS, the EU Directive on hazardous chemicals in electrical and electronic equipment. ChemSec, the only NGO representative in the group, has in a letter to the European Commission announced that we will leave the working group.
“The reason for our withdrawal from the RoHS working group is that we still do not have a clear understanding of the aim and purpose of this group and we do not have a concrete idea of what the work and the time we put into this process will lead to. We also find that the meetings are very inefficient and make little progress. Another reason is the balance in the working group, which is quite awkward. Industry is represented by around 15 people, member states by three and NGOs by just one – soon to be none when we leave”, ChemSec writes to the European Commission.
– We believe our views and concerns regarding additional substances in RoHS have been communicated clearly during discussions on the recasting of the RoHS directive, says Frida Hök, Policy advisor at ChemSec. We now hope the European Commission and Member States will propose brominated and chlorinated substances as well as polyvinyl chloride (PVC) for restriction in RoHS. These substances are some of the most problematic ones used in electronics and many companies have shown there are feasible alternatives by moving away from these substances.