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WEEE Extended Producer Responsibility

Under Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) the reform of the WEEE regulations will take a different approach to the reform of the packaging regulations due to EEE being (electrical and electronic equipment) higher in value and is purchased by consumers occasionally, compared to the higher frequency of packaging purchases.

Why are the WEEE regulations being reformed?

Whilst the existing WEEE regulations do facilitate reducing the environmental impacts caused by end-of life electronic and electrical items, the government are looking to reform the WEEE regulations for several reasons:

  • The existing WEEE system does not fully incorporate full net cost principles
  • Lack of provisions in the regulations to support the drive towards a circular economy
  • Lack of public awareness and an inconvenience associated with disposal of WEEE, which therefore does not drive circular behaviour
  • An estimated 155 kilotonnes of domestic WEEE is disposed of annually by UK households, but even so we are hoarding millions of small electrical appliances in households, weighing around 190,000 tonnes
  • Inequality in costs covered by online producers and sellers, compared to traditional routes to market
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Research Project:

Beyondly conducts research ahead of the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) reform to determine whether producers are ready for future implementation of eco-modulation and eco-design.

The Consultation

The consultation will be split into two parts (A & B):

Part A

Part A will contain formal government proposals that are supported by an impact assessment, which will examine whether there is a need for action/reform and analyse the possible impacts of available solutions. It will cover areas of reform that aim to increase reuse and recycling rates by stepping up takeback obligations of distributors, doorstep WEEE collections, bringing more producers into scope, taking steps to tackle the ‘vape crisis’. 

People looking at computer and documents. One pointing one with pen in their hand.

Part B

Part B will be more akin to a call for evidence (an information-gathering exercise that seeks expertise from people, organisations, and stakeholders with knowledge of a particular issue), which will explore areas of policy that need strengthening, by asking for views on these topics to make improvements to the proposals.

We can expect the consultation and impact assessment to be published imminently, which will run for 8 – 12 weeks.
It was noted that the consultation and impact assessment does need to be reviewed and authorised by several parties prior to publication, so any changes requested by the various parties it must pass through could result in delay and a later publication than stated above. 
Beyondly will share further details of the consultation here once released by DEFRA. Should you have any questions in the meantime, please do get in touch with our team!

Will you be affected by WEEE EPR?

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