Feeds

New e-waste rules may be too much for UK business, warns Gov

We preferred when it was just kids collecting cans

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Build a business case: developing custom apps

The Government has said that new electronic waste disposal demands from Brussels may be too difficult for businesses to meet. It has asked for industry's view ahead of summer negotiations on electronic waste.

The European Commission is revising its Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Directive and plans a hike to the recycling requirements placed on industry in EU countries.

The Directive had imposed a target for each EU member state of collecting 4 kilograms of electrical or electronic waste for every citizen of the country. That will be replaced by a 'binding target' of 65% of the average weight of electrical and electronic equipment placed on the market in that country in the preceding two years, the Commission said in December.

The Government fears the changes may be too costly for business.

"The UK welcomes the Commission's intention to strengthen the Directives, with further steps to limit the environmental impact of waste equipment. However, we are concerned that the WEEE proposals in particular do present some significant challenges for British businesses," said a spokesman for the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (BERR).

BERR has launched a consultation process to seek the views of industry on the changes.

"Our consultation paper will give the electronics and ICT industries, the waste management sector, consumers and other interested parties the opportunity to inform the UK government's understanding of the impact the changes will have, ahead of the formal negotiations in Brussels," said the spokesman.

The 65% target is a 'combined target' incorporating levels of household and non-household waste.

The target is the result of Commission research which showed that 80% by weight of goods purchased are discarded within two years, but that not even half of that is recycled.

"In reporting the achievements towards this target, Member States governments would not only be obliged to combine the sales and collection, treatment and reprocessing of household and non-household WEEE, but would also need to include the tonnage of WEEE that had been identified and prepared for reuse," said BERR's consultation document.

That inclusion of reused material is in line with current UK practice. "The current UK WEEE Regulations already allow for evidence of reuse to be off set by producers against their notified collection obligations," said the consultation.

The Commission said that the changes were designed to fix problems in the original EU-wide laws.

"Legislation on electrical and electronic equipment has proved difficult to implement and enforce by market actors and public authorities. The Commission proposes measures to address these difficulties and reduce the cost of putting into effect the revised directives," it said.

"Under the new WEEE directive registration and reporting obligations for producers would be harmonised and national registers would be made interoperable. It is estimated that savings under the proposed revised directives would amount to some €66 million," it said in December.

Responses to the BERR consultation are due by 13 May.

Read the consultation .pdf here.

Copyright © 2009, OUT-LAW.com

OUT-LAW.COM is part of international law firm Pinsent Masons.

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple fell into IBM's arms
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
Amazon says Hachette should lower ebook prices, pay authors more
Oh yeah ... and a 30% cut for Amazon to seal the deal
Philip K Dick 'Nazi alternate reality' story to be made into TV series
Amazon Studios, Ridley Scott firm to produce The Man in the High Castle
Nintend-OH NO! Sorry, Mario – your profits are in another castle
Red-hatted mascot, red-colored logo, red-stained finance books
Sonos AXES support for Apple's iOS4 and 5
Want to use your iThing? You can't - it's too old
Joe Average isn't worth $10 a year to Mark Zuckerberg
The Social Network deflates the PC resurgence with mobile-only usage prediction
Chips are down at Broadcom: Thousands of workers laid off
Cellphone baseband device biz shuttered
Feel free to BONK on the TUBE, says Transport for London
Plus: Almost NOBODY uses pay-by-bonk on buses - Visa
Twitch rich as Google flicks $1bn hitch switch, claims snitch
Gameplay streaming biz and search king refuse to deny fresh gobble rumors
Stick a 4K in them: Super high-res TVs are DONE
4,000 pixels is niche now... Don't say we didn't warn you
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Maximize storage efficiency across the enterprise
The HP StoreOnce backup solution offers highly flexible, centrally managed, and highly efficient data protection for any enterprise.