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Call for longer-term WEEE targets

A sector expert has said that manufacturers would benefit if WEEE targets were announced up to four years in advance.

Current targets for recycling electronics, which are set by the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills (BIS), are announced at the end of the first quarter for the following year.

Valpak’s Adrian Hawkes is concerned that this leaves manufacturers just nine months to prepare their strategies for WEEE recycling.

By extending the notification period for upcoming WEEE targets, he believes, a longer term view can be taken on recycling strategies.

Hawkes’ suggestion came at an event in Westminster organised by the All-Party Sustainability Resource Group considering the effects of the WEEE directive recast one year on.

A BIS spokesman said that it would be inappropriate for the time between the placing of equipment on the market and the WEEE target and the unpredictable impact of turbulent market forces made any target estimation unsuitable beyond a year.

At the same event, Graeme Caerus, business development director with European Metal Recycling, called for an extension to the accreditation period for recycling exporters.

Under the current system, exporters must provide the Environment Agency (EA) with a comprehensive document on an annual basis.

Caerus said that sourcing the information required to gain the accreditation was an expensive and lengthy process. If the current system were relaxed to three-year intervals, he said, it would help “to lighten the load on us and lighten the load on the EA”.

The EA currently requires exporters to provide the following information:

  • where it comes from and the weight you export (by load, container etc)
  • where you will export from
  • who owns the material at time of export
  • nature of the material
  • who you are exporting it to
  • the end product having a beneficial use
  • how you intend to keep your records

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