Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment
The WEEE directive became law in 2007 in conjunction with the RoHS directive, which complements it. The directive covers all electrical and electronic equipment (EEE) waste from simple plugs to washing machines to mainframe computers (with a few minor exceptions related to military, aerospace or large fixed installation). It does not apply to batteries which are covered by the Batteries directive. It is intended to reduce the environmental impact of EEE waste, and puts the financial responsibility for recycling on the producers and distributors of the equipment (i.e. the OEM).
Electrical & Electronic Equipment (EEE) placed on the market must now carry labels indicating the crossed-out wheelie bin and identify the producer. Additionally, a producer must register with a producer compliance scheme.
A producer is defined as someone who:
- Manufactures and sells EEE under their own brand (e.g. Sony, Panasonic, Dyson etc);
- Re-sells EEE manufactured by other suppliers under their own brand (e.g. Currys who sell EEE under their own brand name, but have the equipment manufactured by someone else); or
- Businesses that import EEE into the UK on a professional basis (e.g. a person whose business activity is importing EEE from China. Excludes personal imports).