Any business that manufactures or distributes household or non-household electrical products within the European Union needs to comply with the WEEE regulations. They are one of a series of new ‘producer responsibility’ directives that require producers of new equipment to pay for the recycling and/or safe treatment and disposal of the products they put on the market when they eventually come to be thrown away.
Unfortunately from an environmental perspective, one of the primary failings of the WEEE regulations is that it doesn’t encourage companies to design their products in ways that makes them easier to recycle at the end of their life. This is because instead of forcing manufacturers to deal with the recycling of their own products, thereby giving a large incentive to make recycling easier and less costly, end of life products are collected and recycled collectively by other companies.
The producer of any electronic product (the company the product is branded under) that is covered by WEEE has a legal responsibility to register with a WEEE compliance scheme and it is a criminal offence not to comply with the regulations if your product comes under their scope.
|Environment Agency WEEE Directive Information|
|WeeeCare (One of the lower cost compliance schemes)
(A complete list of compliance schemes is available from the Environment Agency web site)