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.
The results reveal that citizens 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% of respondents identified them correctly, as opposed to 18%-35% who confused them with LED bulbs. When asked to identify an LED lamp, only between 14% and 23% of respondents classified it correctly, whereas between 31% and 45% thought it was an energy-saving light bulb.
Recolight CEO Nigel Harvey, who is also a Director of Eucolight said “These findings mirror the situation in the UK. 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”.
Recycling awareness varies with consumers across all countries
Respondents were also asked if they know where they should deposit lamps for recycling. Spanish and Belgian citizens scored highest, with around 50% suggesting local authority waste facilities or recycling plant, and more than 10% suggesting the retail outlet where they purchase their lamps.
Impact of the findings
The results of this survey confirms 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.
Nigel Harvey added: “We will continue to advise all our collection partners, both consumer and commercial that LEDs can be placed in the same container as fluorescent lamps. At Recolight we collect all lighting in scope of the WEEE regulations.”