Posted on 29/11/2023 in Electric & Electronic Fire Safety 2023
Brominated FRs in WEEE slowly decreasing

Levels of brominated flame retardants in end-of-life electronics are slowly falling, but may hinder recycling and increase costs. Study by DSS+, funded by the bromine industry, notes that Europe generates 2.6 million t/y (2021) of WEEE (waste electrical and electronic equipment) plastics, of which only around 50% is collected through official channels and only around 15% is recycled. Levels of brominated FRs in WEEE plastics from screens have decreased over the last decade (2010-2022) but are stable in WEEE from smaller electronic items. Content of PBDEs (a family of brominated FRs which is now restricted) has decreased but PBDEs are still found because of devices manufactured before restrictions. On average, around 3.5% of WEEE plastics today contain brominated FRs. The study notes that new or proposed lower limits for certain brominated FRs in wastes (HBCD, PBDEs) may hinder WEEE plastics recycling, increasing costs and administrative burdens.

“Brominated Flame Retardants and the Circular Economy of WEEE Plastics. State of Play”, DSS+ for the bromine industry (BSEF), September 2023, 90 pages

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