Defra have released the final WEEE collection targets for 2021. Following the unavoidable impact of the pandemic on collections in 2020 Defra have decided to omit the years data from the calculations used to formulate the 2021 collection targets.
As the 2020 data is discounted from the calculation, a 5-year trend forecast from 2015 to 2019 was used to determine the total collection tonnage for each category. Defra stated that this will mitigate the effect of any outlying data and has therefore resulted in targets marginally higher than those in 2020.
|Category||2019 Target (tonnes)||2020 Target (tonnes)||Revised 2021 Target (tonnes)|
|1 - Large Household Appliances||188,282||185,354||187,398|
|2 - Small Household Appliances||56,693||34,152||34,512|
|3 - IT and Telecoms Appliances||49,334||39,121||41,391|
|4 - Consumer Equipment||38,055||24,106||24,386|
|5 - Lighting Equipment||0||5,559||5,747|
|6 - Electrical and Electronic Tools||25,513||24,733||24,892|
|7 - Toys, Leisure and Sports||3,095||4,950||5,013|
|8 - Medical Devices||26||4||5|
|9 - Monitoring and Control Instruments||202||1,074||1,110|
|10 - Automatic Dispensers||1||0||0|
|11 - Display Equipment||48,708||39,495||37,726|
|12 - Cooling Appliances||135,415||134,200||137,030|
|13 - Gas Discharge Appliances||5,168||4,553||4,145|
|14 - Photovoltaic Panels||87||87||274|
The overall revised collection target for 2021 is 503,629. This is 7,115 more than the actual tonnage collected in 2019, and approximately 40,000 tonnes more than the overall collected tonnage of Household WEEE in 2020.
Reports from industry suggest that Q1 Household WEEE volumes are falling behind the same period in 2020, however this is yet to be confirmed in the official Q1 data release. It could also be suggested that with lockdown restrictions only recently lifting, Q1 2021 is not directly comparable to Q1 2020 where restrictions had not yet begun.
Nevertheless, it appears the pandemic continues to make an impact. Some have suggested that there could be significant amounts of WEEE that householders have been storing until HMRCs are fully operational and easier to access.
January also saw changes to retailer take-back which resulted in a significant increase in the number of stores obligated to offer a take-back service. Given the fact that non-essential retailers have been closed for Q1 it will be interesting to see what impact this change has going forward into Q2 and beyond, once retailers are open. Alongside this Material Focus are running a communications campaign which sets out to raise awareness and educate consumers on e-waste, it will be interesting to see what influence this has on e-waste recycling habits and in turn collection rates.