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In order to reduce the amount of waste being sent to landfill, the WEEE Regulation was issued by the European Commission on 27th January 2003. The Regulation requires member states to achieve minimum recycling targets for waste electrical equipment and the Regulations policies were incorporated into UK law when the WEEE Regulations came into force on 2nd January 2007.

How the WEEE Regulations work

The WEEE Regulation falls into a category of legislation referred to as ‘Producer responsibility' and requires businesses to take responsibility for their impact on the environment when their products become electrical waste. Producer responsibility is an alternative to taxation and gives producers an incentive to ultimately design products which will ultimately create less waste, are more lightweight and can be reused or recycled more easily.

Meeting the targets

The WEEE Regulation aims to recover 4kg of separately collected household WEEE per head of population. It also aims to ensure that recovered WEEE is treated to appropriate standards and targets, with companies that are referred to as ‘producers' being forced to pay for such treatment. Retailers are often referred to as ‘distributors' in the legislation and have collection responsibilities for WEEE. Business users can also face obligations in certain circumstances. You can find out more about these obligations in our Services.

Who is obligated?

There is no minimum threshold below which action needn't be taken. Any company classed as a ‘producer' or ‘distributor' will face obligations under the legislation and therefore is at risk of prosecution if they don't meet their requirements.

What are the obligations?

To find out more about the producer and distributor obligations, have a look at our services by joining the FREE Info Scheme, and access more detailed information, application form and regulatory downloads.

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