Non-compliant internet sellers will be liable for the WEEE compliance of product they sell online. That is the position set out in the Government’s Resources and Waste Strategy, released today.
Commenting on the news, Recolight CEO Nigel Harvey said: “The move to making online sellers responsible for WEEE compliance of the product they sell is very welcome. Recolight has campaigned long and hard for this change. The level of WEEE avoidance on some major marketplaces is very high – our research showed that 76% of LED bulbs available on one site were in breach of the WEEE regulations.”
“That non-compliance is damaging to the competitiveness of compliant companies. It also means that the recycling of some lighting products might, in the long term, become unfunded.”
“We do, however, hope that the Government will consult on options before their backstop deadline of end 2020. The sooner this loophole is closed, the better.”
“What is more, WEEE could just be the tip of the non-compliance iceberg. The Resources and Waste Strategy aims to ensure internet sellers meet their obligations under the WEEE, waste batteries and waste packaging regulations. But there is more. The Lighting Industry Association’s laboratories have shown an alarming level of non-compliance of lighting products bought through online marketplaces with electrical safety standards.”
The newly published strategy also states that the Government will consult on how to amend the WEEE regulations to encourage better designed products. Clearly there are several ways in which this might be achieved. One option could be to modulate fees – or collection obligations to incentivise the sale of more environmentally friendly products.