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Electronic waste bill supported by Cabinet

New legislation is to force retailers in Israel to recycle used batteries and accept old electronic equipment, including old cell phones. On Sunday, the cabinet approved the giving of government to a bill that was proposed by Environmental Protection Ministry to force producers of batteries and electronics to pay for their eventual disposal and waste treatment.

Initiated by Adam Teva V’Din of the Israel Union for Environmental Defense, the electronic waste bill has been promoted by the Environmental Protection Ministry as well as MK Nitzan Horowitz. The Environment Ministry says that the government can cut down on both environmental and health hazards by placing the responsibility for the correct disposal of electronic goods with the manufacturers.

Should the bill receive approval from the Knesset, it would force importers and manufacturers of electrical goods to recycle half of the full weight of electronic equipment that they sell every year and force importers and manufacturers of batteries to recycle 25 to 35 percent, depending on the kind of battery sold. Businesses that sell electronic equipment would also be required to accept old goods free of charge when a customer is buying a new version of the same kind of device.

“In modern times there is a huge increase in the replacement of purchasing of electronic products,” says Gilad Erdan, the Environmental Protection Minister. “The bill will regulate for the first time the treatment mechanisms for waste generated by electronics.”