REPIC, the UK’s leading electronic waste recycling compliance scheme, has launched judicial review proceedings challenging the Government’s failure to close loopholes in the recycling system of domestic appliances.
REPIC says the rules of the WEEE Directive are being exploited by some organisations seeking to extract excessive profit from the manufacturers’ duty to prove they are recycling their share of waste equipment.
To comply with the WEEE rules, manufacturers must join a compliance scheme, which has to collect a proportion of all electronic waste determined by how much new product its members put on the market each year. Compliance schemes are required to collect an amount of WEEE which is equivalent to their members’ obligations. However, some compliance schemes collect waste well in excess of their obligations with a view to selling it on at inflated prices to other schemes.
REPIC says that the Government is fully aware of the situation but Ministers have not taken any steps to bring this damaging opportunism to an end. The Government’s failure to take a meaningful action has pushed REPIC to try to find a solution through judicial review.
Commenting on the move, REPIC’s chief executive, Dr Philip Morton said:
“The current WEEE scheme is being exploited in a way that needlessly increases manufacturers’ costs, which are inevitably passed on to the consumer. As currently applied, the WEEE rules are a model of bad regulation; they encourage profiteering and undermine attempts to promote good environmental practices by the industry.”