RoHS & WEEE Compliance
The RoHS Directive (Restriction of Hazardous Substances) seeks to prevent the sale and use of products in the European Union market containing materials and chemicals deemed harmful to the environment. This directive has been in effect since July 1, 2006.
Most banned or restricted substances include lead, cadmium, mercury, hexavalent chromium (also known as chromium VI or Cr6+, and two plastic flame retardants, polybrominated biphenyl (PBB) and polybrominated diphenyl ether (PBDE).
The official text of the official EU RoHS directive can be found on the official website of the European Parliament at:
WEEE (Waste from Electrical and Electronic Equipment) is a complementary directive outlining the treatment, recovery, recycling and disposal of electric and electronic equipment, and their packaging - seeking to identify both the elimination of disposing harmful materials and chemicals into our landfills, while also trying to identify products that are safe for recycling, preventing them from the landfills entirely - encouraging eco-design, reuse and recycling through producer responsibility.
The WEEE Directive applies to standalone products. These are products that can function entirely on their own and are not a part of another system or piece of equipment. Interface has almost no products that fit this category.
Interface Inc., as a responsible company, seeks to design, develop, manufacture, and distribute products that are compliant with the WEEE directive.
The official text of the official EU WEEE directive can be found on the official website of the European Parliament at:
Frequently Asked Questions:
Q. Does the WEEE Directive apply to any Interface products?
A. The WEEE Directive applies to standalone products. These are products that can function entirely on their own and are not a part of another system or piece of equipment. Simple examples are microwave ovens, refrigerators, etc. Interface has few, if any products that fit this category.
Q. How long has Interface been working towards RoHS Directive compliance?
A. Interface began to address a RoHS Directive compliance program in 2003.
Q. Are any products compliant to date?
A. Yes. Interface is already compliant with the RoHS Directive. We have tested and do not believe that any products we manufacture contain any of the six hazardous substances per the guidelines of the RoHS Directive.
Q. Are any products exempt?
A. Yes. The RoHS Directive grants exemptions from its substance bans for electrical and electronic equipment exempted by the WEEE Directive. One example is military equipment. Components manufactured by Interface for use in military equipment are currently exempt from the RoHS Directive. Components sold into military equipment applications are not required to be made RoHS Directive compliant, but Interface does seek to make all of our products RoHS compliant.
Q. What is the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) Directive about?
A. WEEE is an adopted European Union directive, which became national law in the EU Member States in 2005. The WEEE Directive requires producers/manufacturers to pay for electronic and electrical equipment recycling - covering a broad range of electronic and electrical products from PCs, microwave ovens, appliances, power tools, DVDs, digital cameras, electric toothbrushes, toys, etc. The WEEE Directive aims to divert waste electronics from going into landfills and to encourage eco-design, reuse and recycling through producer responsibility. In the EU, producer responsibility schemes are established in each Member State to take back and recycle electronic waste.
Q. What is the Restriction of Hazardous Substances in Electrical and Electronic Equipment (RoHS) Directive about?
A. A sister directive to WEEE, the RoHS Directive bans the presence of specified hazardous substances in certain electronic and electrical equipment placed on the EU market after July 1, 2006. The RoHS Directive ensures that any such new electrical and electronic equipment does not contain lead, mercury, cadmium, hexavalent chromium, polybrominated biphenyls (PBB) and polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDE) (PBBs and PBDEs are often used as flame retardants in some plastics), unless derogation is provided for via an exemption. It should be noted that not all products Interface makes are subject to the RoHS Directive and the RoHS Directive expresses exemptions from its substance bans for some applications. These exemptions are specifically listed in the Annex of the RoHS Directive.