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17 major retailers pledge support for UK Retail Compliance Scheme

Producer responsibility scheme Valpak released the names of retailers who have shown commitment to its Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) Retail Compliance Scheme (RCS) today.

Arcadia Group, Argos, B&Q, Boots, Comet, DSG International, Homebase, House of Fraser, John Lewis Partnership, MFI, Morrisons, Next, Somerfield, Tesco, the Co-operative Group, Wickes Building Supplies, and Woolworths have all expressed interest in the RCS and made a combined pledge of £80,000 towards set-up and ongoing costs.

Valpak has also been in preliminary discussions with trade associations including the Radio, Electrical and Television Retailers Association, the British Hardware Federation, and the Federation of Small Businesses — seeking to provide a compliance solution for smaller independent retailers.

Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) sustainable development director Sue MacDonald said: “The DTI is pleased to see that many leading retailers are taking the very positive step of expressing their interest in the RCS and hopes that other businesses will follow suit in making their operations WEEE-ready”

Last week Boots Retail (Ireland) became the first company to be prosecuted for breaching WEEE regulations in Ireland or the European Union. Ireland transposed the EU WEEE directive into law on August 13.

The company pleaded guilty to failing to maintain a specified in-store notice informing customers that prices included a contribution to a Producer Recycling Fund to ensure WEEE is collected and recycled; and failing to include in an advertisement of electrical and electronic equipment the contribution to the fund on top of the net price.

It was fined €1,200 and ordered to pay costs of €6,865 to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) who brought the charges.

EPA programme manager Dr Gerry Byrne said: “The WEEE Regulations are consumer-friendly and environment-friendly and in failing to comply with the regulations companies put compliant retailers at a competitive disadvantage.”

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