Senior EU and U.S. officials call for closer collaboration in materials management

10/05/2012

In a transatlantic symposium on opportunities for cooperation on the management of used electronics senior EU and U.S. officials and the CEO of the TransAtlantic Business Dialogue (TABD) Executive Board called for closer collaboration in materials management. The Washington D.C. conference was hosted by TABD and the Representative of German Industry and Trade (RGIT) on October 4, 2012.

Matthew Murray, Deputy Assistant Secretary at the Department of Commerce commented: “The work underway in the Transatlantic Economic Council is crucial to U.S and EU competitiveness, particularly in the area of sound materials management. We need to encourage public-private partnerships to develop solutions.” 

Despite different approaches of EU and U.S. on the collection, reuse, refurbishment and recycling of electronic devices, Karl Falkenberg, Director-General of DG Environment, said: “The EU and U.S. need to work together to address the common challenge of a transformational change in the mentality of consumers and producers of electronics. The scale of the transatlantic recycling market could become an engine for an international framework.”

Mark Grynberg, CEO of materials technology company Umicore and TransAtlantic Business Dialogue (TABD) Executive Board member said: “Umicore supports initiatives to promote a better legislative basis for the collection of used electronics and to create a global level playing field for the recycling industry. There is an opportunity for the U.S. and Europe, two of the largest consumer markets for electronics, to establish an early leadership position both from a technology and market point of view.”

The conference was a unique opportunity for leaders of the transatlantic business and government community to share experiences and best practices on used electronics design, recycling, regulations, and stewardship.

The purpose of the conference was to advance transatlantic understanding of best practices for materials management, a topic that is a priority issue for the Transatlantic Economic Council (TEC). Participants included officials from the European Commission, the U.S. Government, transatlantic business, industry associations and interested stakeholders, all of whom took advantage of this unique forum to exchange views and identify areas for further cooperation.