Under the Waste Electrical Electronic Equipment (WEEE) Regulations of 2013 retailers of EEE have the option to either offer instore take-back on a like-for-like basis or pay to join the Distributor Take-Back Scheme (DTS).
The DTS allows members exemption from the in store take back requirement of Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) when a new equivalent piece of EEE is purchased. By joining the DTS an EEE retailer will pay a fee to cover the electrical and electronic equipment they sell, the funds raised from the fees goes towards maintaining the recycling centres run by local authorities (LAs). The funds are also used by LA’s to undertake specially designed projects to facilitate an increase in the collection of WEEE within the UK, to help meet the Government’s increasing targets.
Phase 4 of the DTS came to an end in December 2019 and the new interim Phase 5 is open for registration after approval was given for 2020 and 2021 by Defra. However Phase 5 will only extend to larger retailers (Bands A and B) with retail premises until 31st December 2020 – going forward into 2021 said retailers will be required to offer in-store take-back in line with the Regulations. Smaller stores (current Band C members) and online retailers without physical, retail premises will be able to continue membership until the final phase of the scheme expires on 31st December 2021.
Matthew Stocks, Policy Advisor at Defra, said “that this decision has been taken in the context of new approaches being required to meet the more ambitious and challenging collection targets in 2020 and beyond”.
According to Defra’s background briefing, convenience is key to encourage the public to recycle more electronics, along with raising overall awareness of electrical waste. With this is mind Defra will be rolling out a national communications campaign this year which aims to encourage EEE reuse and recycling.
The responsibility for overseeing take-back systems will lie with the Office for Product Safety and Standards. Defra have confirmed that the Office will “be communicating with retailers in due course setting out their obligations as a result of this decision.”
Defra have stressed that no immediate action is required to establish instore take-back facilities, but larger retailers with a physical premises should note that their obligations will be changing from 1st January 2021.
Phase 5 – register now
Phase 5 is now open for registrations. Please visit https://dts.valpak.co.uk/ to log on to the members’ area to register. Due to the delay in preparing the DTS for phase 5, the Office of Product Safety & Standards have confirmed that there will be a grace period to 31st March 2020 to allow signing up to the new phase. We recommend that you consider your options and start the registration process as soon as possible. If you have any queries regarding the DTS please contact the compliance team who will be happy to advise you, alternatively you can email firstname.lastname@example.org directly.