WEEE generation in Africa is potentially set to exceed that of Europe by 2017 due to population growth and access to electrical and electronic products. David Burton, Project Director at B2B Compliance and an old ‘Africa hand’ commented “The current WEEE situation in Africa is very different from Europe in that about 20% of the African population cannot afford new products and while high collection rates of domestic WEEE are achieved it is part of an informal commercial economy where the treatment infrastructure is very crude with little environmental or H&S controls – although efforts are now being made by OEMs to support well managed recycling facilities. We have a strange anomaly that EU legislation, quite rightly, prevents the export of WEEE to Africa yet allows the export of EEE or Used EEE which, at the end of life, ends up in the same informal waste infrastructure that any exported WEEE would have. Perhaps we in the ‘developed’ countries need to support the, so-called, less developed countries in ensuring efficient and safe waste management infrastructures which would then allow WEEE to go to treatment facilities which could focus on re-use – an option which is difficult to achieve in Europe because of high labour costs and less demand for secondhand products. Here in the UK there is an understandable focus on volume industrial scale recycling of WEEE into material streams whereas, under the right economic and market conditions, there would be enormous employment and environmental benefits to re-use – but these economic and market conditions exist in Africa- not Europe. Perhaps the proposal within the WEEE Directive for the consideration of a re-use target may be the stimulus for this support for African nations”.