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Photo: Vladimer Valishvili/UNDP

E-Waste Management Brings Georgia Closer to Responsible Consumption and Production

Over 70 representatives of Georgian Government, business associations, chambers and companies, civil society and international organizations, discussed e-waste management and Extended Producers’ Responsibility (EPR) described in the new Waste Management Code of Georgia, which comes into force in December 2019.

The workshop was organised by the non-governmental organization “Georgia’s Environmental Outlook” – GEO, supported by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and Government of Sweden, in cooperation with the Ministry of Environment Protection and Agriculture of Georgia.

Solomon Pavliashvili, Deputy Minister of Environment Protection and Agriculture of Georgia; Kakhaber Kuchava, Chairman of the Environmental Protection and Natural Resources Committee of the Parliament of Georgia; and Nino Antadze, UNDP Environment & Energy Team Leader in Georgia, addressed the participants at the opening session.

The discussions at the workshop focused on a range of issues, including potential models of Extended Producers Responsibility (EPR) for different waste streams and specific legislation for e-waste. International experts presented key findings of the recent study on the current amounts of e-waste and future trends in Georgia.

The workshop concluded with the presentation of the EPR Manual which provides some general information for all stakeholders.

Georgia is a fast-growing market for Electrical and Electronic Equipment (EEE). The consumption reached 14.6 thousand tons in 2016 and will potentially increase to 52 thousand tons by 2027.

For now, the country generates four times lower e-waste than the European Union countries, 4.6 kg per inhabitant compared with the EU average of 18.7 kg. However, Georgia already faces the need to introduce an up-to-date concept of e-waste management to ensure responsible consumption and production, and protect people and environment from the risks associated with the inadequate disposal of up to 1000 hazardous and non-hazardous substances contained in electrical and electronic equipment – mostly heavy and precious metals.  

E-waste management is specifically noted in Georgia’s new Waste Management Code which was adopted 2014 and is coming into force in December 2019. The new Code introduces the concept of Extended Producers Responsibility (EPR) for specific waste streams, including electrical and electronic equipment (EEE). The EPR is also applicable to batteries and accumulators (B&A), end-of-life vehicles (ELV), packaging, waste oil, and used car tyres.

The introduction of Extended Producers Responsibility (EPR) contributes to waste separation and proper disposal, as well as to generating environmental and health benefits, creation of new businesses and job opportunities.