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Reaction to the WEEE announcement

Following the publication of the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) directive, the compliance industry has begun to comment on the proposals.

Compliance scheme Valpak welcomed the publication, but wanted more details of a compliance process for B2B producers to be included.

Valpak chief executive Steve Gough said: “We applaud the Government for having put out a clear statement and clear direction following its consultations.

“However, we feel there are a number of issues that still need further clarification and guidance. For example, we are pleased to see that schemes will take both B2B and B2C obligations of members but more detail is needed on the B2B compliance aspects.

“We have already started work on how to move forward on this. Also, there is a lot of further work to do to develop detailed arrangements for producers and schemes to provide evidence of compliance and treatment. Valpak remains committed to work with the Government over the coming weeks to refine the detail.”

He also called for a timeline to be put down for implementation of the directive and that this should be done urgently.

The Department for Trade and Industry has also said that it will hold informal discussions with stakeholders, but will not seek a consensus on the plans. Instead, it will look for evidence to show whether the implementation proposals will deliver the objectives and obligations set out by the directive.

Gough added: “This will avoid further delays and will introduce an element of market mechanism which will reduce costs and be good for members.”
Valpak is also supportive of proposals for a national collection network.

“We are continuing to consult with retailers on the details of the scheme and to discuss working arrangement with local authorities and their representatives.”

Repic, which is a compliance scheme representing 54 members who produce 80% of electrical and electronic sales, expressed concerns over the review.

Chief executive Philip Morton said: “No one wants to see the WEEE Directive delayed any longer than necessary, but we must achieve workable solutions.

“Unfortunately, the DTI review has not adequately addressed the vast collective of producers’ major concerns over allocation, collection and financing.

“These issues must be resolved if the Directive is to succeed here in the UK as it has in other parts of Europe. While our members review their options, we will continue to engage in constructive discussions with the Department.

“It is still not too late to achieve a fair and equitable solution that safeguards the interests of all stakeholders and the environment.”

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