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Question for written answer P-009769/2012
to the Commission
Rule 117
Sari Essayah (PPE)
Subject:
Destruction of used energy-saving lamps
Traditional incandescent light bulbs are in the process of being completely replaced within the EU by
energy-saving and LED lamps.
Unlike incandescent bulbs, energy-saving lamps are hazardous waste that must not be disposed of
together with household refuse. Because they contain mercury, they have to be taken to the WEEE
collection points for waste electrical and electronic equipment or to hazardous waste collection points.
Unless it is destroyed properly, a burnt-out energy-saving lamp causes an environmental problem,
given that mercury is a toxic heavy metal.
There is still much room for improvement as regards the destruction of energy-saving lamps. Despite
the indications on the packaging, some consumers do not understand that energy-saving lamps must
not be mixed in with normal unsorted waste, or else they do not know where to take used lamps.
There are still too few collection points.
When they break, the lamps become a health hazard and consequently need to be handled with great
care. For that reason, containers cannot be very large or high, as badly packed lamps might
otherwise break when they struck against each other.
What will the Commission do to make EU citizens more fully aware that used energy-saving lamps
have to be taken to the appropriate collection points? How will it ensure that properly designed
collection points are set up in sufficient numbers?
917102.EN
PE 499.590
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