WHOLESALERS and retailers must take back lamps and luminaires that are at the end of their lives, the government has announced.
Defra has now confirmed that from the end of 2020, most vendors will be required to provide in-store takeback of so-called Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE).
The new requirement will apply to all retailers and electrical wholesalers with annual sales of all products above £100,000.
Online retailers without physical retail premises, and retailers with sales below the cut off, can avoid the need to provide in-store WEEE takeback, by joining a plan dubbed the Distributor Takeback Scheme.
Commenting on the news, Recolight chief Nigel Harvey told Lux: ‘For several years, The UK’s recycling rates for waste electricals and lamps have stalled.
‘It’s well established that to increase rates, consumers must have access to convenient drop off points.
‘But until now, an opt out meant that virtually all retailers could avoid their legal obligation to provide in-store collection.
‘The removal of that opt out at the end of this year should do much to increase WEEE and lamp collections.’
He added: ‘The legal obligation to collect only applies where a customer buys a similar product to that being returned.
‘However, the challenge of enforcing this strictly probably means many will simply offer the service to all customers.’
‘This change means that from next year, that any retailer selling lamps will be required to provide a waste lamp takeback service. That is good news.
‘And although the requirement will also apply to electrical wholesalers which sell household or so called ‘dual use’ electricals, most of them already offer Recolight’s waste lamp takeback service.’
Announcing the decision, a Government’s spokesperson said: ‘this decision has been taken in the context of new approaches being required to meet the more ambitious and challenging collection targets in 2020 and beyond.’
- A major conference on Lighting’s role in the circular economy will take place in the Crystal building at Royal Victoria Docks in London on Tuesday 24 March 2020. Organised by the waste electrical and electronic equipment compliance body Recolight and chaired by Ray Molony, the event aims to shape the industry’s move to a low-waste model. More information HERE.