What is the WEEE (Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment) Directive?
The Waste Electrical & Electronic Equipment Regulations require that all producers of electrical equipment are obliged to pay for recycling of all household electrical goods once they come to the end of their service lives. Updated in 2013, further requirements were introduced whereby electrical goods manufacturers are also obliged to actively assist in both delivery of a UK wide WEEE collection infrastructure & encourage the participation of consumers in the recycling of electronic equipment.
To comply with the regulations, manufacturers must join a Producer Compliance Scheme, which will provide a link between producers of equipment & environment agencies, as well as a number of services which enable WEEE to be effectively recycled or reused. All new electronic equipment placed on the market must include marking with certain information to allow the consumer to correctly dispose of the equipment.
What’s covered under these regulations?
The Directive applies to all electrical & electronic equipment listed in the following categories, equipment which is dependent on electrical current or electromagnetic fields in order to function, and equipment involved in the generation, transfer, or measurement of such electrical currents or EM fields, and which is designed for use at voltage levels not exceeding 1kV for AC or 1.5kV for DC, provided that the equipment is not part of another system that does not fall within the scope of the Directive:
Producer Compliance and Marking Requirements
Many different stages of the EEE (Electrical and Electronic Equipment) chain are affected by the WEEE Directive, but for practical purposes only the requirements of the equipment producers are covered, as our clients fall into this category.
In the WEEE Directive, a Producer is defined as follows: Any person who, irrespective of the selling technique used:
With regard to the main aim of the Directive – to reduce the environmental impact of waste electronic equipment – the underlying sentiment of the Directive is “The Producer shall pay”. More specifically, this refers to the funding of collection, transport, sorting & recycling or re-use of electronic equipment, along with any associated public relations or consultancy costs. The Directive states that producers may undertake these tasks as individuals, or become part of a collaborative scheme with proportional responsibility.