THE UK Government must clamp down on online retailers of LED lamps who are avoiding their responsibilities, the lighting industry’s largest waste compliance scheme has urged.
Rogue firms which sell light sources on Amazon and other websites are not complying with the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment rules and must be tackled, says Recolight.
The call comes as the Government publishes its summary of the responses it received to its recent WEEE regulations consultation – and indicated some of the actions it intends to take.
Most relevant for the lighting industry was a question regarding WEEE ‘free-riding’ through online sellers and marketplaces. Seventy-four per cent of respondents said that the current WEEE regulations have no or low impact on ensuring online sellers are compliant.
Recolight’s own research indicates that over 75 per cent of LED lamps sold on one major online retailer were non-compliant.
The Government has not yet said how it will tackle the online free-riders problem. However, it indicates that it may be addressed in the Resources and Waste strategy expected later this year. And recognising the importance of the problem, it has agreed to convene a meeting of stakeholders in the meantime.
‘Online free-riding is a major challenge to many in the lighting industry,’ Recolight chief Nigel Harvey told Lux. ‘Large quantities of non-compliant lighting equipment are sold through online channels. This puts compliant companies at a material competitive disadvantage.
‘Although it’s disappointing that the Government has not yet proposed regulatory changes to tackle this problem, it is good to see that change is at last being contemplated. It cannot happen too soon for our members.’
Other consultation outcomes include two technical changes to the WEEE regulations to make their operation fairer. This includes a mandatory system to require all WEEE schemes to take responsibility for WEEE collected from Local Authorities.
Additionally, the Government’s announcement confirms that the current 14 WEEE categories will be retained for reporting purposes. The proposal was strongly supported by Recolight and its members. It means that luminaire producers will not need to report large and small luminaires separately, avoiding unnecessary red tape.
Harvey said: ‘This is decision particularly important for the lighting industry, as household luminaire producers must comply with the WEEE regulations by the end of 2018. This decision will simplify compliance for all companies that are affected.’
- This year’s Lighting Fixture Design Conference takes place on Wednesday 20 June and Thursday 21 June 2018. Organised by Lux and LEDs Magazine, the event takes place at the Cavendish Conference Centre in London. For more information and to reserve you place, click HERE.
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