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SMEs still unaware of WEEE, claims new survey

Nearly one year after the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) Directive came into force small and medium sized (SME) businesses across the UK are still unaware of the regulations, according to a recent survey.

The survey entitled SME-nivronment 2007 was commissioned by environmental guidance website and it found that only 13% of SMEs in the sewage, waste and cleansing industry could name the WEEE regulations unprompted, and 43% had heard of them once they were named. In comparison, only 18% of SMEs in the recycling industry and 33% in the electrical equipment and machinery manufacture industry could name the WEEE regulations unprompted.

NetRegs programme manager Richard Martin said: SMEs generate 60% of all commercial waste in England and Wales so its critical that all users of electrical equipment understand what WEEE means for them and it is worrying that so few businesses in waste, sewage and cleansing are aware of WEEE legislation unprompted.

The survey interviewed over 4,000 businesses across the UK. Overall it found that SMEs were still unaware of key pieces of environmental legislation. However, it showed that 69% of businesses were aware of the Hazardous Waste Regulations legislation and that 53% of SMEs had introduced practical measures to reduce their environmental impact.

Image: WEEE stored for disposal

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