Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Don't Toss your Headphones in the European Union

I just bought a pair of earbud headphones that came with a warning written in 17 different languages that says if you live in the European Union you are not allowed to toss your headphones in the garbage. I'm not even kidding. As is often said, truth is stranger than fiction, and you can't make this stuff up!

"After the implementation of the European Directive 2002/96/EU in the national legal system, the following applies:
Electrical and electronic devices MAY NOT be disposed of with domestic waste.
Consumers are OBLIGED by LAW to return electrical and electronic devices at the end of their service lives to the PUBLIC collecting points set up for this purpose or point of sale. Details to this are defined by the national law of the respective country."
Not sure what in the world the EU would want to do with a pair of worthless broken earbud headphones but if the European Union wants mine when I'm done with them they'll have to come dig them out of the pile of refuse my garbage collection service delivers them to. I'm certainly not flying to Europe to dispose of them at a European Union public collection point.


Matt Van Gundy said...

The chemicals and heavy metals used in many electronic devices can pose a pretty serious environmental threat. You should always recycle or properly dispose of electronics -- the same way you would for alkaline batteries, lead car batteries, florescent lights, old paint, etc. While I strongly oppose the nanny state mentality, and legislating down to the level of headphones might be overkill, I think that the EU just put good stewardship on the books here.

Dustin said...

Good stewardship is good, I just don't like the nanny State telling me what to do. For example, some group of idiots convinced enough stooges in DC that mercury poisoned fluorescent bulbs are good so there will be a mandate here by 2012 that incandescent bulbs can no longer be used. I don't know about you, but I'd rather use an incandescent than a mercury poisoned fluorescent & it really stokes my ire to have a bureaucrat tell me that I have no choice in the matter.

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