The Polish WEEE recycling law prescribes unambiguous collection rates: each producer must achieve a collection rate of 35% based on the volume of EEE it placed on the market in the previous year. Each producer is, therefore, obliged to notify the „G³ówny Inspektorat Ochrony Œrodowiska“ (GIOŒ), the main supervisory authorities responsible for environmental protection, of all relevant volumes.
All institutions and companies may accept unwanted electrical and electronic appliances, if they have the appropriate permit to do so and participate in the “Punktów Selektywnej Zbiórki Odpadów Komunalnych – PSZOK” system. These may be public sector businesses, scrap yards or shops / service points handling electrical and electronic equipment.
The Polish law specifies that all producers of EEE are responsible for financing the following:
To be able to meet their obligations, each producer concludes a contract with a take-back scheme which then assumes all of the producer’s legal responsibilities. The take-back schemes then sign agreements with the dismantling centres and finance the environmental education campaigns.
Each producer has the right to choose whether they wish to fulfil their legal obligations themselves or use a take-back system. If a producer decides to set up their own take-back organisation, then they must furnish a financial guarantee. This sum is calculated according to weight and amounts to 1.80 zlotys per kilo of EEE placed on the market. Experience has shown that it makes better business sense for the producers to conclude a contract with a take-back scheme, as such schemes have already provided a financial guarantee via their share capital amounting to 5 million zlotys. Half of this capital must be kept in a bank account and be available at all times.
There is no permanent system in place responsible for ensuring the law is enforced. The “Wojewódzki Inspektorat Ochrony Środowiska – WIOŚ”, the Voivodeship supervisory authorities responsible for environmental protection, must carry out checks at least once a year. In addition, producers must compile reports on their target figures as well as on the collection, processing and recycling rates they actually achieve and submit these to the GIOŚ every six months. The GIOŚ keeps an official record of these figures and uses them to draw up an annual report on the system.