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Diluted WEEE Directive feared

By Greg Pitcher

The environmental benefits of the Waste Electrical Electronic Equipment (WEEE) Directive could be slashed due to pressure to get it written into UK law, a leading producer fears.

The final consultation period between the Government and stakeholders closes today 77 days after the EU law was supposed to be transposed by member states.

Electrical goods producer HP revealed it was using its response to call for items put on the market from August 13, 2005, to be the sole responsibility of the producer.

But the manufacturer worries that time constraints will mean the Government will stick with the draft regulations, making all producers responsible for a percentage of total waste.

HP WEEE programme manager Kirstie McIntyre told MRW: Our concern is that the environmental spirit of the directive is missing.

Some of that is due to time pressure individual producer responsibility is hard to implement. But the current draft regulations say there will be collective responsibility forever, which does not encourage eco-design.

In the long-term, we would like to control our own waste, so we would benefit from making it easier to recycle.

Otherwise there is no incentive to improve the environmental qualities of the product, which is what we believe the directive was intended to be about.

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