Consultation on reforming the producer responsibility system for waste electrical and electronic equipment 2023

Closes 7 Mar 2024

Opened 28 Dec 2023

Overview

The purpose of this consultation is to seek views on reforms to the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Regulations 2013, which are intended to drive up levels of separately collected WEEE for re-use and recycling. The reforms will also support the drive towards a more circular economy by ensuring products are designed to have a lower environmental impact than those which we consume today.  We want to ensure producers and distributors of electrical and electronic products finance the full net cost of collection and proper treatment of products that end up as waste.

This consultation document sets out detailed proposals for reforms relating to the provision of collection infrastructure for household WEEE financed by producers of electrical and electronic equipment.  It sets out detailed proposals for reforms to the take-back obligations that currently apply to distributors, i.e. retailers and online sellers. Finally, it sets our proposals to place new obligations on Online Marketplaces and on ensuring producers of vapes properly finance recycling costs when they become waste. These proposals are supported by an accompanying impact assessment. Separate impact assessments have also been carried out by Scottish Government.

Alongside this consultation document, we have also published a Call for Evidence. The Call for Evidence sets out wider areas for reform in which detailed proposals and an accompanying impact assessment have yet to be developed.  Nevertheless, we have set out some specific areas on which we would welcome additional evidence and views to assist further policy development ahead of consulting on formal UK-wide proposals supported by a full assessment of costs and benefits. Taken together, the proposals set out in this consultation and those in the Call for Evidence represent our intentions for WEEE reform.

The various ideas set out in the Call for Evidence will need further development and consultation before they can be implemented. This means that not all the reforms will be made at the same time. Indeed, it is envisaged that reforms will be phased starting potentially as early as next year with measures on online marketplaces, free collection of large domestic appliances by retailers on delivery of a new item and the introduction of a new EEE category for vapes, which are discussed in this consultation document.  The start of the rollout of the household collection system is anticipated from 2026, along with the other measures sets out in this consultation document. It is anticipated that policy proposals arising from the Call for Evidence will be phased in over a longer timeframe.

The package published today and the subsequent Government response should be taken as a further review and report of the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Regulations 2013 as required under Regulation 93.

Give us your views

Audiences

  • Households
  • Local Authorities
  • Business/Private Sector
  • Producer Compliance Schemes
  • WEEE Treatment Facilities
  • Waste Management Companies
  • Electrical re-use organisations
  • Non-Government Organisation
  • Retail Industry
  • Manufacturing Industry
  • Member of the General Public

Interests

  • Natural environment
  • Waste and recycling