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WEEE directive delayed for another six months

The implementation of the Waste Electrical Electronic Equipment (WEEE) directive has been delayed yet again.

Instead of January 2006, the Government has announced it will now be the responsibility of manufacturers and retailers from June 2006.

Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Minister Malcolm Wicks said: "This directive is about dealing effectively with electrical waste which can be damaging to the environment. It is challenging and has required a lot of planning and preparation but our priority is to get this right."

Environment Agency manager for waste producer responsibility Jeff Cooper added: "The Environment Agency will work closely with Government Departments and the devolved administrations to implement the forthcoming WEEE Regulations. We expect to be able to announce arrangements for the registration of producers in the early autumn with registration starting in January 2006."

The move has been welcomed by Repic, which represents 51 of the UK's leading electrical goods producers.

Repic chief executive Philip Morton said: "We are in agreement with the Government that a January 2006 implementation would have been premature. There are several issues that require clarification to enable a workable solution to be up and running from June 2006. We look forward to working with the Government to achieve this goal."

British Retail Consortium (BRC) director of corporate social responsibility Nigel Smith said: "BRC welcomes the DTI's decision to delay the implementation date of the WEEE Directive until June 2006.

"It is imperative that we get this right the first time round and ensure we have an adequate collection network from day one to effectively comply with the retailers collection obligations.

"Over the coming weeks the BRC will be announcing the operator of the retail WEEE compliance scheme who will take responsibility for retail recruitment and the distribution of funds to Local Authorities to collect WEEE."

The WEEE directive was originally scheduled to be implemented across the European Union next week on August 13. In March, the UK government announced that it would not be able to implement the directive until January 2006.

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