Issue: Producers of electronics must pay for the collection and treatment of the products at the end of life under producer responsibility regulation. The system is currently under review as part of a wider government commitment to review all producer responsibility regulation.
Activities: techUK will run a series of workshops to develop proposals for reforming the UK system and will build support for these via the JTA, a grouping of trade associations which represent electrical and electronic product manufacturers, which techUK currently chairs.
In addition, techUK has been an ongoing supporter of the Compliance Fee – a mechanism that helps to ensure that producers pay the real cost of recycling – and will continue to run the secretariat for the Fee, which includes oversight of the spend of an £8m Fund which is being invested in communications, technical research and local authority support.
Outcome: During 2019, we held a number of workshops with members ostensibly focused on forthcoming reforms to packaging waste extended producer responsibility but considered in parallel the implications of the proposals for future reforms to WEEE and batteries. We participated in various government workshops to inform initial thinking of the reform of the UK system packaging system, the UK waste electricals system and the UK batteries system, responded to government’s consultation on packaging and provided written evidence to the Environmental Audit Committee for its inquiry into the Electronics and the Circular Economy.
Through our chairmanship of the JTA, we have successful managed JTAC and the £10.6m WEEE Fund, with techUK personally overseeing activity on a day to day basis. This has resulted in a programme of investment with the ultimate aim of ensuring improving the delivery of the UK WEEE System. We have overseen the rebranding and development of the Fund into a company with staff, a vision and a clear funding strategy. An Executive Director is now in place and we remain chair of the Board. We also chaired the drafting group which prepared the JTA 2019 Compliance Fee proposal which was accepted by Defra ministers in early 2020.