With greater emphasis being placed on manufacturers and consumers to adopt a "cradle to grave" and duty of care attitude to waste minimisation, a significant expansion in recycling activities is expected across a number of fronts. For example, the recycling of car components, plastics and electronic products are all likely to increase and the activities associated with these industries could impact on the health and safety of operators and the public.
A particular example is to be found in the response to the incoming Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) regulations and Hazardous Waste Directive, where there appears to be a growing industry sector developing in the collection and disposal/recycling of these goods.
Reports are already available (e.g. from Greenpeace) of very high worker exposure levels to some of these materials from recycling activities in developing countries. The desirability for carrying out some further Horizon Scanning activity in the general area of recycling has been identified by the Occupational Hygiene pool.