Online retailers e-waste obligation considered: Online retailers and marketplaces could be required by the government to be responsible for collecting old electronics from consumers to ensure there is the same obligation for the collection of electronic waste as physical retailers.
In response to the Environmental Audit Committee (EAC)’s report on e-waste the government has commited to the new e-waste obligation.
155,000 tonnes of waste electricals ending up in bins every year estimates the report from the body, which companies including Amazon and Apple are contributing to.
All businesses under the new measures might be set old electronics collection targets, not from self-reporting, which that will be then verified independently.
Online retailers and marketplaces by the end of 2021 the government has said will need to have an equal obligation to physical retail to collect e-waste from customers.
“Levelling the playing field for online giants and physical retailers in the take-back of e-waste is important if we are to cut down on the amount of e-waste disposed of incorrectly.” EAC Chairman Rt Hon Philip Dunne MP said.
“The government has failed to acknowledge the importance of extracting precious metals from old electronics, dismissing the committee’s finding that weight-based targets are insufficient to ensure the extraction of many of these light metals.
“These metals, including tungsten and cobalt, are crucial in the manufacture of wind turbines and solar panels and their continued supply is therefore vital to making net zero Britain a reality.
“But we are at serious risk of creating supply shortages if we fail to retrieve these rare materials from old devices.”
“We welcome the Committee’s findings that electrical goods should be reused or recycled and not condemned to landfill or incineration.” said a DEFRA spokesperson.
“Our landmark Environment Bill will give us powers to ensure we can provide consumers with better information around the sustainability of the electrical products and gadgets they purchase.
“We will consult on new measures that will ensure we can better manage electronic waste and do more to drive up reuse and recycling, whilst encouraging better eco-design of products.
“We will also review the rules to ensure online sellers and marketplaces play a full part in supporting the collection of unwanted items from households for re-use or recycling.”
Online retailers e-waste obligation considered