Q1 WEEE collection data ‘surprising’ but industry has work to do

The Environment Agency published data on the volume of household WEEE collected for recycling from January to March 2021 earlier this month.

Despite collection figures being behind where they were in the same quarter of last year, the data was described as ‘pleasantly surprising’ considering the challenges faced by the industry during the first three months of the year.

The Environment Agency has set a target for compliance schemes to collect 503,629 tonnes of household WEEE in 2021. This is an increase of around 9% from the 460,134 tonne target of 2020. Offering the first indication of how schemes are progressing this year, the first quarter data shows a total of 119,818 tonnes of WEEE was collected between January and March 2021. This means that 23.8% of the overall target has been achieved in the first quarter of the year.

The collection data of large household appliances and display equipment was particularly positive, with 47,535 and 9,849 tonnes respectively collected between January and March. Small household appliances and gas discharge lamp collection figures are, however, behind where they need to be, with 7,433 and 861 tonnes collected so far. This means that these particular categories sit at just 21.5% and 20.8% of the respective target tonnages for 2021.

"...considering that the UK lockdown forced all non-essential retail to close throughout Q1, overall, the data is pleasantly surprising. "

Vikkie Fitzgerald, Head of WEEE at Clarity Environmental

Vikkie Fitzgerald, Head of WEEE at Clarity Environmental, said: “In comparison to the data from the same period in 2020, it is clear there is much work to be done to meet targets this year, especially amongst the usual suspects – small mixed WEEE, cooling and lamps. But considering that the UK lockdown forced all non-essential retail to close throughout Q1, overall, the data is pleasantly surprising, with particularly strong performances from display and LDA, as well as PV panels. With retailers open for business, and communications campaigns able to do what they were designed to do, there is certainly potential for a far more positive period in Q2.”

Comply with Clarity

If your business manufactures, imports or rebrands electrical or electronic goods in the UK then you must comply with the UK Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) Regulations. Our approved WEEE compliance scheme has unrivalled member support, cost-effective packages and a variety of WEEE membership categories for all producers of electrical and electronic equipment (EEE).

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