A continuing decline in the amount of waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) being collected has prompted compliance scheme Repic to call on Defra to rethink the way it sets collection targets.
Data released by the Environment Agency has revealed a 12% drop in the total amount of household WEEE.
Between April and June 2017, 133,171 tonnes were collected compared with 150,993 in the same period last year. This follows a 9% fall recorded in the first quarter of the year, which led to fears that collection targets set by Defra could be missed.
Earlier this year, the department announced that the overall collection target for 2017 would be set at 622,033 tonnes, more than 40,000 tonnes higher than the household WEEE collected and reported by producer compliance schemes (PCSs) in 2016.
The Environmental Services Association criticised Defra for not setting higher targets, but PCSs warned that the target would be challenging for producers and retailers.
Repic chief executive Mark Burrows-Smith said the data showed that less than 50% of the target had been collected across every major category of WEEE.
“The Q2 data shows just how ambitious the WEEE collection targets for 2017 are,” he added.
“While we remain committed to achieving the targets set, Repic strongly believes that more evidence-based research is required to help set future collection targets.
“It is imperative to the future of the system that we look beyond the buy-and-dispose model and instead factor into the mix the impact of consumer economics and commodity price fluctuations.”