The release of the Government’s response to comments raised from its consultation on the proposed changes to the producer compliance system for waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) has been pushed back to ‘early’ September.
The government had originally planned to publish its response on Friday August 16, eight weeks after the conclusion of the consultation – which ended on June 21 – but has opted to delay this by several weeks due to the volume of responses received.
Instead, the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills has said that it will publish an initial summary of the responses received in late August, followed by a formal response, outlining which of the proposed options it favours, in September.
Four proposed options for the future of the WEEE system were outlined in the consultation, which was launched to bring the requirements of the recast WEEE Directive into UK law and to address concerns from producers that the cost of compliance with the regulations does not reflect the true cost of recycling.
These options include:
Option 1: No change and continue with the current system;
Option 2: Introduce a ‘National Producer Compliance Scheme’, instead of competition between current compliance schemes;
Option 3: Setting targets for compliance schemes along with a ‘compliance fee’ if these are not met, instead of the trading of WEEE evidence data between collection schemes, and;
Option 4: Matching collection sites to compliance schemes.
Stakeholder groups offered differing views on which options should be pursued by the government, with the WEEE Common Interests Group, made up of some compliance schemes and reprocessors arguing that the options for change fail to address several key aspects of the Recast WEEE Directive, including prioritisation of hazardous waste and the interpretation of ‘dual use’ WEEE.