There is no magic formula that will reduce to zero the risk of fires caused by WEEE containing
batteries. It is critically important that a range of actions are taken in all steps of the
lifecycles of both electronic devices and lithium batteries: from design to disposal of WEEE
and batteries and including handling, transport and treatment. Most measures require a
good level of understanding of the issue and others, support from policymakers. Only a
multi-stakeholder, co-ordinated response can address the issues effectively.
The European Green Deal and the new Circular Economy Action Plan identify ‘electronics’
among key product value chains where recycling plays an obvious major role to achieve
sustainability goals. The expected contribution of the waste management industry to the EU
strategies is at risk. The waste management sector is in need of a strategy that will support
its fight against fires caused by WEEE containing lithium batteries.
The current revision of the Batteries Directive and a possible revision of the Eco-design
Directive provide good opportunities to take account of the initiatives described in this
report. However, statistics and testing are required to ensure that the measures identified
and incorporated in such texts are valid and implementable under technically and
economically viable conditions.