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Q&A on the Mercury free logo 

1 - Why should I apply the logo? 

The label will enable collection, logistics and recycling treatment operators to segregate end of life equipment based on cold-cathode fluorescent lamps from those based on more recent type light-emitting diodes due to the inherent different treatment requirements of these backlighting technologies. DIGITALEUROPE is confident that this initiative will enhance the opportunity for recycling operators to efficiently recycle end of life TVs and Monitors in a safe and environmentally sound manner and hence represent a substantial benefit for the producer community.

2 - What does the logo look like and where does it need to be placed?

The figure below shows the design and relative dimensions of the logo which shall always be maintained. For readability, it is proposed to ensure that dimension “a” shall be greater than 9mm.

The characters Hg are made from Gill Sans typeface.

3 - What are the marking requirements?

Marking shall be visible, durable, legible and indelible. Compliance is checked by inspection and by rubbing by hand for 15 s with a piece of cloth soaked with water and again for 15 s with a piece of cloth soaked with petroleum spirit. After this test, the marking shall be legible; it shall not be easily possible to remove the marking. If used, marking plates or labels shall show no curling.

The petroleum spirit to be used for the test is aliphatic solvent hexane having a maximum aromatics content of 0.1% by volume, a kauri-butanol value of 29, an initial boiling point of approximately 65°C, a dry point of approximately 69°C and a specific mass of approximately 0.7 kg/l. When using petroleum spirit appropriate environmental, health and safety measures should be applied.

4 - Where does the marking need to be located?

The marking on the product shall be visible on the back of the TV without the removal of a cover.

5 - Is it mandatory?

The use of the logo is not currently mandatory, however the greater the number of manufacturers that apply the logo to their products the greater the gain in efficiencies for the environment, the recycling industry and subsequently the producer community.

6 - When will manufacturers start implementing it?

Manufacturers can place the logo on all products produced from January 2014 onwards.

7 - How does the logo affect consumers?

The target audience of the logo are manufacturers, waste collectors and recyclers. It is not intended for consumers or to influence any purchase decision. The purpose of the logo is to help waste collectors and recyclers to identify screen types and improve safe handling and implement efficient recovery.

8 - Who should use it?

A logo can be applied to all LCD screens and monitors, the logo used will be dependent on whether the screen is mercury free or not. This logo will allow screens to be easily identified and support better collection and recovery of products at end of life. Through easy identification of products that require specific handling, safer and more cost effective recovery techniques can be applied.

9 - What does mercury free mean?

Mercury Free means a product in which concentration values of mercury (Hg) by weight in homogeneous materials do not exceed 0.1% as defined in Directive 2011/65/EU of June 8, 2011 on the restriction of the use of certain hazardous substances in electrical and electronic equipment.

10 - How does this affect me?

Manufacters/retailers : The appropriate logo can be placed on all your LCD televisions and monitors to indicate if they are mercury free or not.

Collectors: Look out for the logo on products in the waste stream in the future. The logo will help you identify appropriate handling of products that contain hazardous materials at end of life ensuring safer working environments.

Recyclers: The ability to identify LCD television and screen composition will allow recyclers to adopt different and safer approaches to recycling of products dependent on their composition. This ability to treat products more appropriately should result in treatment efficiencies.

11 - Why is it only TVs and monitors?

The majority of laptop screens have used LED backlight technology for some time now. However, this switch has only happened in TVs and computer monitors more recently, so there will still be CCFL screen arising as waste for some years to come. It was agreed among WRAP and DIGITALEUROPE that his label would only be most effective for LCD television and monitor screens.

12 - What if some manufacturers don’t label?

Whilst the logo is not mandatory, the greater the number of manufacturers that use a logo to make identification easier, the greater the impact and potential benefits that will be realised. We invite manufacturers to apply the logo to ensure an environmentally safe and efficient handling of waste displays.

13 - How many screens with CCFL backlights have been sold to date?

While the penetration of CCFL LCD TV screens accounted for more than 90 % of the technology sold in 2003 in the European market it declined to about 54% in 2007. Since 2008 CCFL backlights are being displaced by light emitting diode (LED) backlights. These have a number of advantages over CCFLs including an improvement in the energy requirement of the display for a given size and brightness. According to display research the global market share of the CCFLs technology will be close to zero by 2015.

In absolute terms, approximately 106 million CCFL LCD TV screens have been placed on the European market between 2003 and 2007 http://www.topten.eu/uploads/File/Recommendations%20TVs%20May%2012.pdf ). DIGITALEUROPE estimates that between 2009 and 2012 another round of about 14 Mio CCFL LED TVs have been sold in Europe.

Worldwide TV Forecast by Technology

Source: DisplaySearch Quarterly Global TV Shipment and Forecast Report http://www.displaysearch.com/cps/rde/xchg/displaysearch/hs.xsl/120710_lcd_tv_forecast_lowered_to_216_units_solid_growth_still_expected.asp

14 - How long is this valid?

WRAP and DIGITALEUROPE envisage this label would be applied for at least the next ten years. WRAP and DIGITALEUROPE recommend the logo is used until collectors are able to demonstrate to regulators and Competent Authorities that unlabelled and mercury-containing products have disappeared from the waste stream.

15 - When will we see the benefits of this?

The average lifetime of a LCD Television or monitor is 5-7 years, therefore it is estimated that labels applied to products in 2014 will be entering the waste stream from 2019 onwards. The benefits of the label will begin to be realised from this point. While we acknowledge that this is not an immediate benefit, if TVs and Monitors are not labelled now the collection and recycling industries will phase substantial difficulties and expense to segregate relevant displays in the future.

16 - What are the different types of TV?