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Producers call for fairer WEEE system

Electrical equipment producers have called for radical change to the WEEE recycling system.

The Joint Trade Associations, which includes eight associations in the electrotechnical sector - and four producer owned compliance schemes - said it represented more than 90% of WEEE producers and sought “to achieve the common goal of introducing a fairer WEEE system for all stakeholders in the UK”.

Its comments came as the Government consults on the recast of WEEE regulations.

Samsung Electronics UK head of sustainability Kevin Considine said: “The Government’s consultation presents the UK with a fantastic opportunity to move to an equitable system allowing maximum freedom and choice for all stakeholders; encourage those collecting WEEE with a net value to collect more and retain more income from properly treated WEEE; and, for the first time, create a system with competition and choice at all levels.”

He said of the options for takeback or matching systems would “provide stakeholders with a fair and properly funded system, allowing legitimate commercial operation, true costs to be borne, and WEEE to be properly treated and audited”.

Mark Dempsey, European waste policy adviser to Hewlett-Packard said the consultation and its accompanying impact assessment “underline the excessive costs and lack of audit for WEEE that result from the evidence trading system”.

Toshiba’s environmental affairs manager Tom Nickson said the current system offered “no incentive for a PCS to offer a lower price to attract new members even where it has surplus WEEE, since it can always sell surplus evidence to deficit PCSs who must buy at the given price to meet obligations or face criminal sanctions”.

The compliance scheme members of the Joint Trade Associations are B2B Compliance, ERP UK, Recolight, and REPIC. 

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