In 2020, nearly 850 tonnes of used professional equipment exported for redeployment were voluntarily declared by ecosystem partners. The export of donated medical equipment for reuse by partner NGOs concerns essentially electric hospital beds.
Significant quantities of second hand professional EEE (medical devices, automatic vending machines, IT and communication equipment, industrial equipment , generators) were exported for redeployment by producers, brokers, stockpile managers or NGOs and are therefore not collected by the industry. Our authority approval specifications documents allows us the possibility of including, in our collection performance, the voluntary declarations of exported EEE for redeployment by producers and second hand medical devices by NGOs under contract with and donating medical equipment (Horizons Sahel et Aima) whilst complying to regulations on cross-border transfers of used EEE.
It should be remembered that cross-border transfers of used EEE are regulated by Annex VI of the 2012/19 WEEE Directive or articles R. 543-206-2&3 of the French Environment Code: requirements in testing working order, packaging, traceability and supporting evidence are imposed in order to ensure that no illegal transfer of waste is conducted under the cover of used EEE.
In 2020, nearly 844 tonnes of second-hand medical devices were exported and declared to ecosystem. The declarations made for medical donations by producers and NGOs are validated upon receipt of supporting evidence attesting to compliance to articles R.543-206-2&3 of the French Environment Code and are regularly audited. The export of donated medical equipment for reuse by partner NGOs is essentially electric hospital beds.
Furthermore, a partnership between ecosystem, the medical furniture producer Hillrom and the non-electrical furniture take-back operator, Valdelia, became reality in 2020 when a brochure created for the Hillrom sales teams and for those holding used furniture was published and resulted in several reuse/recycling operations for several hundred electrical hospital beds. The purpose of this partnership is to provide a simple and clear solution for those with medical furniture (hospitals, care homes, etc.) in reusing medical furniture with ecosystem partners and recycling it when reuse isn’t possible.
In accordance with the authority approved specifications document, an assessment of the recovery processes in importing countries was undertaken, prioritising professional EEE declared as having been exported to destinations outside of Europe, i.e. the United States, India, Senegal and Ivory Coast.
In 2020, ecosystem also initiated, within the framework of a study on sources undertaken by OCAD3E, a statistical evaluation of exported waste EEE, using freely available data from customs export declarations and following the development of threshold values in €/kg to distinguish new EEE from second-hand EEE. The first results would indicate an export of 38 kilos tonnes of professional EEE exported as a minimum.
(Under-estimation of declarations due to the lack of detailed declarations for operators exporting less than 460k€/an), according to the breakdown per regulatory category below (source: existing studies (1), statistical evaluation (2))
Lastly, as exporting waste EEE is mainly carried out by sellers/brokers, ecosystem set working groups with medical brokers in order to improve the quantification of second-hand medical devices, and established a “best practice for brokers exporting for reuse” charter in view of possible partnerships. This project will be continue into 2021 and will include more sectors.