ENFORCEMENT of existing Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment regulations (WEEE) will be launching at the end of March. All vape and e-cigarette retailers now have a legal obligation to offer customers a free recycling point for these items. Fed members can read the latest updates here.
If you are selling electrical and electronic equipment (EEE), including disposable vapes and e-cigarettes, you must provide a way for your customers to dispose of their old household electrical and electronic equipment when you sell them a new version of the same item.
From the end of March 2023, The Office for Product Safety and Standards (OPSS) will be undertaking enforcement action on any retailers who are not compliant with WEEE regulations.
Failure to comply with WEEE regulations can result in prosecution:
- If taken to Magistrates’ Court, you may receive a fine of up to £5,000.
- If taken to Crown Court, you may be issued an unlimited fine.
This can be done by:
- Providing a free, in-store, take-back service for your customers.
- Establishing an alternative, free take-back service.
- Joining the Distributor Take-back Service (DTS) if you do not have your own take-back service.
You must also provide customers with the following information:
- Which take-back service you are providing.
- How they can reuse and recycle EEE.
- Why this waste must be separated from other waste.
- The effects of not recycling EEE.
- The meaning of the crossed-out wheelie bin symbol.
If your business sells less than £100,000 worth of electrical equipment a year, you are eligible to join the DTS. The DTS, operated by Valpak, allows members an exemption from the WEEE take-back requirement if a new, equivalent piece of EEE is purchased.
You will need to pay a fee to cover your WEEE obligations. This is dependent on:
- The size of your store.
- How much EEE you sell.
A record of what information you give to your customers about where they should take their WEEE will need to be kept.
More information surrounding the DTS can be found here, email DTS@valpak.co.uk or call 03450682572.
For any store that will be operating its own take-back service, an information template provided by the government can be found at this link here to be printed: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/weee-regulations-distributor-templates.
For any store that will be subscribing to DTS, an information template provided by the government can be found at this link here to be printed: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/weee-regulations-distributor-templates-dts-members.
The Fed strongly suggests members act quickly to ensure customers are provided with electrical recycling options by the end of March.
More information can be found on the Government website or by contacting Valpak.