Toner and ink cartridges which include electronic components are considered to be in the scope of the German ElektoG (independent from the transposition of the WEEE Directive).
This is the result of a discussion between representatives of German Umweltbundesamt (environmental protection agency), the German Stiftung ear (national WEEE register) and the industry association BITKOM on August 5, 2014.
Producers or distributors who bring toner or ink cartridges on the market which need electric current or electromagnetic fields during their use must register the company and the cartridges at ear, submit the obligatory quantity reports and mark their devices with the crossed-out wheeled waste bin.
This interpretation of the German ElektroG with respect to toner and ink cartridges with electronic components is valid immediately and can be subject to enforcement practice of local authorities.
The “new” interpretation is in line with the concept of German Stiftung ear, while industry has argued to continue to consider toner and ink cartridges as supplies material which is not in the scope of German ElektroG. This interpretation was common understanding in the past. Competent authorities are expected to examine more closely compliance with the new interpretation beginning next year, according to BITKOM.