OE-A Working Group Sustainability publishes Regulatory Framework

06.09.2018 | id:650420

A guiding document for the TOLAE industry on regulations, directives and standards

OE-A, together with its members, has set up a regulatory framework in order to make the printed electronics industry aware of international regulations and directives as well as standards in the areas of waste management and material use. 
 
Importance of sustainability in the printed electronics industry
In order to build a stronger organic and printed electronics industry, OE-A covers several important and current topics and issues. Through a set of working groups, OE-A enables and fosters collaboration by all members of the value chain – starting from research to integration into final end-products. By means of discussion and cooperation in the particular working groups, OE-A members are able to initiate new and innovative developments, further improve existing products and processes as well as find solutions for certain challenges. One of those working groups deals with the topic sustainability. 
 
Due to noticeable environmental changes (i.e. depletion of natural resources, global warming, natural disasters, etc.), more and more people from all different sectors (governmental, public, corporate, etc.) have become aware of the importance and necessity of sustainable development. In order to being able to guarantee that future generations can fulfill their basic needs and enjoy a good quality of life, it is crucial to implement a more sustainable production process and manufacture a sustainable product.
 
The mission of the OE-A Working Group Sustainability is to identify and fully understand the sustainability benefits of the organic and printed electronics technology, emphasizing its contribution to a sustainable future in an open dialogue with key stakeholders, the markets, regulators and wider society. 
 
Regulations put in place
OE-A members need to take into account that governmental institutions, including e.g. the European Commission (EC), have put strict(er) legislations and requirements in place regarding material use and waste management. The objectives and targets set in the legislation have been key drivers to improve waste management, stimulate innovation in recycling, limit the use of landfilling, ban or limit certain material use and create incentives to change consumer as well as producer behavior. OE-A and its members need to be aware of these legislations and need to be prepared to future changes and further restrictions. These regulations (in particular the ban on certain materials) can furthermore put a hold on the further development of certain products and technical applications. This can have a big impact on all participants of the process. The sooner the thin, organic, and large area electronics (TOLAE) industry is aware of this, the sooner and easier products and productions processes can be improved and/or adapted.
 
OE-A Sustainability Regulatory Framework
In order to inform its members, the OE-A Working Group Sustainability published the OE-A Sustainability Regulatory Framework. Set-up and created by OE-A members, this framework provides the TOLAE industry an overview of the international regulations and directives as well as certain standards. This “living” document (since these regulations and standards are subject to change as they are regularly being reviewed, updated or amended, so is the Regulatory Framework) serves as an overview and a guidance. The Regulatory Framework is mapped out along the entire printed electronics life cycle – from raw materials, equipment and components to distribution, user and disposal – to indicate which regulation or standard might affect which area. Each indicated regulation or standard is summarized on a separate ‘one pager’, including a link to more in depth information.   
 
 
 
(The complete document is exclusively available to OE-A members. An OE-A membership could be interesting and beneficial for you as well.) 
 

Source of the image : Unsplash

Verstraelen, Sophie Isabel
Verstraelen, Sophie Isabel