Companies still unaware of WEEE requirement says body

Many companies are still not aware of the rules for recycling of electrical goods, one year after they came in.

The warning comes one year after companies were given responsibility for recovery of products at the end of their life.

The EEF says that, in the past 12 months, many firms have struggled to understand the requirements under WEEE. This has been exacerbated by a lack of proper guidance, it says.

Gareth Stace, EEF head of environment, said: "The requirements of the [WEEE] directive are a maze for many companies, who are unaware that they are covered and risk being fined. One year on there is still a need to provide more help and guidance for companies in understanding what their obligations are."

Under the Regulations, producers of electrical and electronic equipment are financially responsible for the recovery and recycling of the equipment at the end of life. However, the EEF says definition of where the ultimate responsibility lies has been far from clear as supply chains are often complex and identifying where the full producer obligations fall has been difficult.

This has caused problems for small and medium-sized companies who often think they are exempt, according to the EEF.

The EEF is urging the UK government to apply its principle of simplification and better regulation to the review of the directive later this year by the European Commission.

The engineering employers’ body has updated its guidance on WEEE, which is available at www.eef.org.uk

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