WEEE overhaul forces more takeback requirements on large retailers

Retailers will have to extend their takeback schemes for e-waste under new rules governing the WEEE Directive which have effectively strengthened producer responsibility requirements.

Consumers will be able to drop off their used e-goods at larger retail stores

Consumers will be able to drop off their used e-goods at larger retail stores

The recast of the directive, which was approved by the European Parliament last week (January 19), means that large stores selling electronic items - with a floor space of over 400 square metres - will be obliged to take back small items of WEEE free of charge, regardless of whether a customer makes a purchase or not.

In addition, manufacturers of electrical and electronic equipment will continue to contribute financially towards meeting tougher reprocessing targets, although they will benefit from a cut in red tape, with simplified registration and reporting requirements.

The move to force larger retailers to offer drop-off collection points for WEEE has been broadly welcomed by industry, including the British Retail Consortium (BRC) who believes the new measures are a "sensible way forward".

Under the new directive, more stringent collection targets have been set. From 2016, 45 tonnes of e-waste must be collected for every 100 tonnes of e-goods sold during the previous three years. This will rise to 65 tonnes by 2019 - alternatively, member states can choose to collect 85% of all e-waste generated.

Maxine Perella


producer responsibility | retail | WEEE


Waste & resource management
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