Suppliers and retailers split on delay to electronic waste scheme

Retailers are disappointed that the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) has indefinitely postponed the introduction of a scheme for safely disposing of electronic waste.

Retailers are disappointed that the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) has indefinitely postponed the introduction of a scheme for safely disposing of electronic waste.

The British Retail Consortium, which has overseen a scheme to help many high street retailers comply with the plans, had been prepared for the waste electronic and electrical equipment (WEEE) directive to come into force in June 2006.

The BRC’s director of corporate social responsibility, Nigel Smith, said, “It is unfortunate that this announcement has come so late in the process. We will continue to work constructively with both government and local authorities in order to meet the revised deadlines as effectively as possible.”

Intellect, which represents the IT suppliers that would have responsibility for the safe disposal of their products, said that the scheme would only work if a National Clearing House for waste electronic goods was set up.

The trade body’s director general, John Higgins, said, “Manufacturers of WEEE products consider a National Clearing House scheme to be the only viable option. It will enable them to effectively spread the financial load, thereby limiting the ultimate cost felt by the consumer.”

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