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Media coverage on reforms to waste electricals regulations

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Media coverage on reforms to waste electricals regulations


There has been coverage over the weekend (Sunday 25 February) on our consultation on reforming the producer responsibility system for electrical waste.

On 28 December 2023, the UK Government, along with the Scottish, Welsh and Northern Irish Governments, launched a consultation aiming to make it easier for households to recycle electrical cords, devices and white goods. Proposals in the consultation included:

  • UK-wide collections of waste electricals directly from households – saving the public from having to trek to distant electrical disposal points. The collections would be financed by producers of electrical items, not the taxpayer, and not necessarily require any further bins.
  • Large retailers rolling out collection drop points for electrical items in-store, free of charge, without the need to buy a replacement product.
  • Retailers and online sellers taking on responsibility for collecting unwanted or broken large electrical items such as fridges or cookers when delivering a replacement.

An estimated 155,000 tonnes of smaller household electricals such as cables, toasters, kettles and power tools are wrongly thrown in the bin each year.

The proposals will mean consumers will be able to recycle their goods during their weekly shop or without even leaving the house.

Recycling Minister Robbie Moore said: 

Every year millions of household electricals across the UK end up in the bin rather than being correctly recycled or reused. This is a sheer waste of our natural resources and has to stop.

We all have a drawer of old tech somewhere that we don’t know what to do with and our proposals will ensure these gadgets are easy to dispose of without the need for a trip to your local tip. Our plans will also drive the move to a more circular economy and create new jobs by making all recycling simpler.

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs will work closely with manufacturers, major retailers and small and medium enterprises throughout the consultation period to ensure the most efficient and accessible options become a reality.

Increasing the collection and recycling of waste electricals has the potential to drive greater investment in the UK’s treatment and re-use sector, helping to create British jobs and deliver on the Prime Minister’s priority of growing the economy.

All consultation responses will be fully considered before we set out the next steps.

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1 comment

  1. Comment by Bethan Jones posted on

    What about insisting that electrical goods are repairable in the first instance? Surely repair and reuse is better than recycle. Recycle should be the last option. It is too easy now for us all to just decide to throw things away when they break or look old, often because lots of electrical items can not be fixed. It should be the producer/manufacturers responsibility to ensure that these items can be fixed, in the first instance, and then when unfixable, recycled. This is what our government should be insisting on. Lets face it all this recycling ends up in land fill somewhere, just not necessarily here in the UK! I don't think our government is doing anywhere near what we are all lead to believe it is!