SMEs still clueless about WEEE

One year on from the introduction of the WEEE regulations, a survey has found that many smaller businesses are still unaware of the legislation.

The poll by free environmental guidance website NetRegs revealed that only 12% of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) across the UK – including just 10% in Scotland – could name the regulations.

The 2006 Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) Regulations require producers of electrical and electronic equipment to take financial responsibility for the treatment, collection and recycling of any waste electronic equipment they have produced since August 2005.

For those using electrical equipment, the legislation means they can return end-of-life equipment to the producer and avoid the cost of recycling or final disposal.

Claudette Hudes, NetRegs co-ordinator, said: “The good news for SMEs is that WEEE legislation can help businesses dispose of their electrical goods, as long as it was purchased after August 13, 2005, to finance its recycling or disposal.

“We strongly recommend that SMEs incorporate WEEE into their procurement procedures, so that when buying a new piece of equipment they check that the producer is legally registered and already conforms to WEEE.”

She added: “Many sectors wrongly believe that WEEE is only relevant to businesses in the electrical sector.

“In fact, if you use a computer, a photocopier or even have a microwave in your staff kitchen, you need to be aware of what WEEE means for you.”

UK businesses throw away 1m tonnes of waste electronic equipment every year.

SMEs can log on to for more information about WEEE and all the environmental regulations that apply to them.

Kate Martin

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