EucoLight, the European Association for lighting WEEE compliance schemes, has conducted a multinational consumer survey. The survey concluded that many consumers were unable to distinguish between different lamp types. People from the six countries surveyed were not sure how to distinguish between energy-saving, LED, incandescent and halogen lamps when shown images of the lamps.
The findings were very similar in all the countries surveyed. In the case of energy-saving lamps, between 27 and 42 percent of respondents identified them correctly; 18-35 percent confused them with LED bulbs. When asked to identify an LED lamp, only between 14 and 23 percent of respondents classified it correctly, while between 31 and 45 percent thought it was an energy-saving light bulb.
Eucolight director Nigel Harvey, who is also the CEO of specialist UK waste recovery firm Recolight, said: “Most consumers have difficulty in differentiating different lamp types. That is why it is logical for all waste lamps to be collected in the same container”.
Respondents were also asked if they know where they should deposit lamps for recycling. Spanish and Belgian citizens scored highest: around 50 percent suggested local authority waste facilities or recycling plant, and more than 10percent suggested the retail outlet where they purchased their lamps.
The results of this survey confirm the EucoLight position, that all types of lamps should be collected together in the same container. This would avoid the risk of consumer confusion between lamps leading to a decrease in recycling efficiency and a possible decline in the recycling rate. It also confirms that it is appropriate for LED and other lamps to be recorded within the same category or subcategory under the WEEE directive.
The WEEE Directive is the European Community regulation covering waste electrical and electronic equipment. It sets targets for collection, recycling and recovery of all types of electrical goods, including lamps.