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WEEE sector is charged up for change

WEEE regulations have remained largely unaltered since they came into force in July 2007 – but change is now in the air. 

The Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) regulations have remained largely unaltered since they came into force in July 2007 – but change is now in the air. 

The process started with the Government consulting producers and others on waste legislation as part of the Red Tape Challenge which with a view to identify and reduce unnecessary regulatory burdens on businesses.  

In March, environment secretary Caroline Spelman reported producers had raised concerns about the costs of WEEE compliance and that the Department for Business Innovation and Skills (BIS) would investigate both short and longer term measures to address them.

BIS has already sought opinions on short term measures – and an announcement is imminent. 

The department has also launched a “call for evidence” on the costs of WEEE which will inform their longer term response, which shuts on 23 July. 

The process will gather detailed information regarding the costs of WEEE compliance. 

Separately, the ‘recast’ text of the WEEE directive was adopted by the Council of Ministers last month. 

Once published, the Government has 18 months to transpose it into national regulations, which means BIS can therefore use the call for evidence to inform their re-write of the new regulations. 

Moreover, Defra is also investigating how existing Producer Responsibility regimes (including WEEE) could be simplified to reduce administrative burdens and costs for businesses.

So change is definitely on the cards, and it is hoped that WEEE will come up smelling of roses in the end.

Nigel Harvey, chief executive, Recolight

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