Since 1 April 2007, producers of electrical goods have been required to mark them in accordance with the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) Regulations 2006.
The appropriate mark, which features a crossed out wheelie bin, must be affixed to all electrical and electronic apparatus put on the market after that date. The Environment Agency has useful guidance on your responsibilities under the Act.
From 1 July 2007, any distributor – i.e. a retailer or wholesaler – supplying new Electrical and Electronic Equipment (EEE) has been required to play an active role in meeting the aims of the WEEE Regulations.
The WEEE Regulations apply to EEE which falls within the 10 product categories listed in the WEEE Directive. These are:
- Large household appliances;
- Small household appliances;
- IT & Telecommunications equipment;
- Consumer equipment;
- Lighting equipment;
- Electrical and electronic tools;
- Toys, leisure and sports equipment;
- Medical devices;
- Monitoring and control instruments; and
- Automatic dispensers.
Any distributor of EEE (irrespective of the way it is sold) who has not joined the Distributor Take Back Scheme must offer free in-store take back of household WEEE from customers purchasing a new, like-for-like product. There are no exemptions for small businesses under the Directive. In addition, distributors have an obligation to provide householders with information on the options available to them for the free return of WEEE and on the environmental benefits which result from its separate collection.
The Waste Batteries and Accumulators Regulations 2009 govern the disposal of waste batteries. Click here for more details.