Retailers have a requirement under the WEEE regulations to take back items of WEEE when their customers purchase a new item, on a one to one basis. The WEEE Distributor Take-back Scheme (DTS) however enables WEEE producers to opt-out of their in-store take-back obligation and is currently used by around 1,200 producers.
Retailers can avoid the take-back requirement by paying into the DTS, with the monies raised invested in collection infrastructure and projects aimed at increasing WEEE recycling.
The Government were due to approve a proposal for the next phase of the DTS, scheduled to run from 1 January 2020. Due to the general election it is looking unlikely that this will take place before the end of the year and if not approved before the end of 2019, under law all distributors of EEE will be required to offer take-back to B2C customers from 1 January 2020.
The new DTS proposal covers a two-year period whilst Government conducts a review of the WEEE system. According to the submitted proposal, the new phase of the DTS will “provide a financial encouragement to DTS members to expand the nature and scope of their in-store take-back facilities to develop best practice collections, as well as increased communication with the public about WEEE recycling.”
However, the proposal has been criticised by retailers and compliance schemes for not incentivising obligated retailers to offer a take-back service for consumers, particularly when WEEE recycling targets are struggling to be met. There is concern that for large retailers, the cost to be part of the DTS is not financially burdensome enough, at a time when WEEE collection points desperately need to be expanded in the UK.
Arrange a WEEE collection
If your company would like to arrange a collection of WEEE, you can do so using our online WEEE collection request form.
Alternatively, if you would like to discuss how we can help set up a regular take-back service for your customers, please contact our team to find out how we can assist you.