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Reduced WEEE recycling targets for 2018 published

The Environment Agency has published the final 2018 WEEE recycling targets, with an overall 14% decrease in household WEEE compared to 2017.

When calculating 2018 targets DEFRA takes into consideration the UK’s performance against the targets in the previous year. Feedback from the industry highlighted that the targets set in 2017 were too high, and as a result the cost of evidence of recycling increased as demand outstripped supply. The table below details the change in targets (in tonnes):

Display equipment light-weighting 

In particular, display equipment was an issue during 2017 and has seen a 29% reduction in 2018. As monitors and televisions are moving towards lighter, flat-screen versions with fewer larger CRT type units appearing in waste streams, the target for display equipment has seen a gradual decrease over the years. 

The target for gas discharge lamps has also decreased by 10% compared to 2017. The methodology for this decrease is that as technology advances make LED lamps more attractive over traditional fluorescent lamps - due to longer life waste streams - we are likely to see fewer units in the system, hence a reduction in target setting.

Failing the spirit of the regulations?

While lower collection targets will be good news for producers in terms of lower total obligation, some industry feedback from treatment operators has been that the targets have not been set high enough, and so are failing the spirit of the regulations to incentivise the collection of WEEE. 

Throughout 2018 we will monitor these targets and report ongoing performance to our members. The targets were set to be challenging yet achievable, and so it will be interesting in 2018 to see whether DEFRAs methodology is successful.

If you would like to discuss how these fee increases affect your compliance costs, please contact our team.


James Champ

Technical manager

James joined the compliance team in August 2012 and now holds the role of technical manager. He is responsible for managing all regulator requirements across packaging, WEEE and batteries compliance regulations, and for overseeing our WEEE and batteries collections. In particular, James takes an active interest in quality improvement both for clients' data methodologies and internally to improve business efficiency.


Written by James Champ Published 11/04/2018 Topics WEEE

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