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Electronic equipment manufacturers welcome change to WEEE

May 14, 2013

imagesCAUBB1DDUK government’s consultation on its Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) system pleases key producers of electrical equipment calling for change.

A number of electronic equipment manufacturers have spoken of their endorsement of the UK government’s decision to hold a WEEE consultation, stating that it shows an “overwhelming” need to change the current system which they argue incurs excessive costs and is insufficiently audited, as well as being “complex and confusing”.

Samsung Electronics UK Ltd.’s Kevin Considine commented that the consultation “presents the UK with a fantastic opportunity to move to an equitable system allowing maximum freedom and choice for stakeholders; encourage those collecting WEEE […] with a net value to collect more and retain more income from properly treated WEEE; and for the first time, create a system with competition and choice at all levels”. He added that “either option three or four can provide stakeholders with a fair and properly funded system, allowing legitimate commercial operation, true costs to be borne, and WEEE to be properly treated and audited”.

In agreement is HP’s Mark Dempsey, who said: “There is no doubt the UK system needs to change.  The BIS Consultation Document and Impact Assessment underline the excessive costs and lack of audit for WEEE that result from the evidence trading system. Now is the time for real solutions that unleash competition and deliver a UK WEEE System that works.”

Meanwhile, Tom Nickson of Toshiba said that the current WEEE system “inhibits competition and choice” as shown by the Government Impact Assessment, which states: “There is no incentive for a PCS to offer a lower price to attract new members event where it has surplus WEEE, since it can always sell surplus evidence to deficit PCSs who must buy at the given price to meet obligations or face criminal sanctions”. Nickson therefore concludes that Toshiba is “fully supportive of the need to change the current flawed and anti-competitive system, while increasing the ability for a producer to ensure a high standard of recycling.”

It was also noted by Dell’s Jonathan Perry that the Impact Assessment highlights how the current system’s “prohibitively high switching costs” lock producers in to the supplier, causing a monopoly whereby “there is increased risk of price discrimination”.

The Recycler reported on the unveiling of the EU’s new e-waste directive in August, which aimed to enforce a collection target of 45 percent of electronic and electrical equipment sold from 2016 onwards, with the target increasing to 65 percent by 2019.

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