Responses to yesterday’s announcement by business minister Matthew Hancock that the UK has met its WEEE collection target in 2014 have been mixed, with some questioning the financial benefits of new WEEE regulations.
It was announced yesterday (Feb 25th) that the overall target to collect 490,000 tonnes of WEEE in 2014 was met, with 491,007 tonnes having been collected across the year.
The minister also welcomed estimates that changes to the regulations, which came into effect in January 2014, had saved producers of electronic goods around £18 million in the cost of compliance with the regulations.
The new regulations replace a system of ‘evidence trading’ between schemes, instead giving them each an individual target based on the volume of new products their members have placed onto the market. Schemes that are unable to meet their target can instead opt to pay a ‘compliance fee’ rather than purchasing WEEE from other compliance schemes at a potentially inflated cost.
The announcement yesterday was welcomed by the chief executive of one of the UK’s largest producer-led compliance schemes REPIC.
REPIC chief executive Philip Morton, said: “It is great news for everyone that the WEEE system has benefited from the new regulations and as a direct result the UK has seen a rise in collection tonnage compared to last year. There is now greater transparency; for the first time PCSs know where the WEEE they pay to recycle is treated and the AATFs know who their true customers are.
“Individual stream targets can only ever be best estimates , the important thing is that all WEEE in all categories that arose across the UK and was made available was dealt with. The overall UK target has been exceeded and the new Regulations mean any collector of WEEE can have their WEEE dealt with at no cost.”