June 10, 2020
The EWRN is an independent network of governmental organisations, such as the EA in England, that maintain official registers of WEEE compliant companies in countries across Europe. The “strongly worded” report states: “Online platforms are fully aware that most of their customers abroad are non-compliant.”
The report also condemns online marketplaces for claiming that WEEE compliance is too complicated for the small companies, noting that “around about 70-80% of the [WEEE] registered producers…. are SMEs and established in the EU”.
Welcoming the report, Recolight CEO Nigel Harvey said: “It is really encouraging to see the EWRN take such a strong stand against WEEE freeriding through online marketplaces. There is now, more than ever, an urgent need for Defra to tackle the non-compliance of product sold through online marketplaces.”
Recolight finds that the situation has been further exacerbated by the Covid-19 crisis. There has been a significant shift from in-store sales to online sales. This means the proportion of WEEE non-compliant product sold in the UK will have increased still further.
That puts greater pressure on the entire WEEE system, the WEEE that needs to be recycled is financed by compliant companies representing a shrinking market share, who therefore pay higher costs.
Harvey added: “Defra published an ideal solution to the problem in their waste packaging consultation last year. Online marketplaces were to be regarded as the producer of all product for which they facilitate the import into the UK. Implementing that simple measure would, at a stroke, resolve most of the problems. It cannot happen soon enough.”
Recolight is the leading UK WEEE compliance scheme for the lighting industry, but is this an issue the aftermarket printing consumables industry should be seriously taking into consideration too?
Editor’s Opinion: Its troubling findings cannot help but still raise questions about online cartridge sales, and how many resellers of cartridges are compliant with the WEEE legislation, nearly two years after the WEEE directive was introduced.
With the WEEE directive requiring printer cartridges to meet its stringent obligations, producers and online sellers of cartridges may need to closely examine the directive in order to avoid the “strong consequences” of non-compliance.
Categories : World Focus