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Published on December 1st, 2020 | by The GC Team

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The impact on business and WEEE in post-COVID-19 world

Mark Frakes, Finance Director at REPIC, the largest household waste electrical and electronics equipment (WEEE) producer compliance scheme in the UK, explores the impact on business and WEEE in a post-COVID-19 world

“The COVID-19 pandemic has led to a seismic shift in how businesses operate and function, driving changes in business models and hastening the adoption of a flexible workforce. The traditional office is not the only way to function now with working from home having been proven as a productive alternative.

“As the world emerges, many businesses will reorganise their operations to focus on resilience and risk mitigation. Facing more scrutiny than ever, the majority are expected to transition toward a more sustainable future by aligning their strategies to responsible values and integrating them into daily operations.

“The waste electrical and electronics equipment (WEEE) recycling sector is no different. Despite the challenges, the sector has shown its resilience and successfully worked together to ensure the continued recycling of WEEE throughout these difficult times.”

“It seems unlikely the UK WEEE collection targets will be met in 2020. However, we are fortunate the WEEE system allows the use of a compliance fee as a legitimate alternative form of compliance. REPIC welcomes Defra’s commitment that producers will not be penalised as a result of the impact of Covid-19 on WEEE collections, and that this principle will be reflected in any compliance fee mechanism made available for the 2020 compliance year.”

“2021 will also be a year of change. From January 2021, large retailers will be obliged to physically take back WEEE when a customer buys a new similar item. Coupled with the planned review of the existing WEEE legislation the sector is gearing up for future changes to the WEEE system.”

“The producer community is keen to see measures which bring more actors into the formal system and increase the amount of WEEE being counted as properly reused and treated. The review brings a great opportunity to shift up a gear on the country’s circular economy strategy.”

www.repic.co.uk

REPIC is a not-for-profit producer compliance scheme established in January 2004 by leading companies in the electrical and electronics industry – to meet their obligations under the WEEE Directive.

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