The Environment Agency have recently released the data showing the total volume of household WEEE collected between January and March 2021. 119,818 tonnes of household WEEE has been reported which unfortunately shows a 11% decrease compared to WEEE collected in the same period in 2020 (134,093 tonnes).

However, the progress towards the 2021 targets is promising. In March, Defra set the national WEEE collection target for 2021 to be 503,629 tonnes which means 24% of the overall target has been met in Q1. As the industry has missed the national target four years in a row, collections will have to be improved to avoid another year below target.

Q1 2021 WEEE collections

Out of the 14 categories, the collections of Display Equipment and Large Household Appliances have proven to be a success as they have reached or are ahead of the target.

Lucy Drake-Lee, Scheme Manager of B2B Compliance, said “The Q1 collection figures reflect the countrywide lockdown and are therefore no surprise. However, in order to increase small mixed WEEE collections more household recycling options are needed.”

“The upcoming Government consultation on the WEEE regulations will hopefully highlight how these issues may be addressed in the future.”

Retailer take back collections

Across this period, 37,007 tonnes of WEEE were collected from in-store take-back. This figure is very encouraging considering the impact COVID lockdowns have had on store closures.

As the change to retailer take-back obligations were introduced at the beginning of this year, we will need to continue on the same lines to meet the national targets.

EEE placed on the market

Q1 2021 has shown a 20% increase on the amount of EEE placed on the UK market when compared to Quarter 1 of 2020. A total of 401,686 tonnes of household EEE was reported which is the largest volume of EEE placed on the UK market during quarter one since the regulations came into force in 2007.

The biggest increase can be seen in Toys, Leisure & Sport Equipment (Category 7), which could be a result of the impact of Covid lockdowns with more people spending time at home.

If you have any questions about the collection targets, please do not hesitate to contact our team.