ERP (the European Recycling Platform), which was established in 2002 by Sony, Gillette, Hewlett Packard and Electrolux, now has over 800 members and operates in eight EU countries. Through its 1WEEE alliance, it also offers WEEE compliance services in most non-EU European countries.
However, Scott Butler, General Manager for ERP UK, stresses that the scheme is not focused on size alone: “As a compliance scheme owned by our members, our aim is to continually drive costs down and standards up. A certain degree of size is useful, because it brings us economies of scale, but we’re as much concerned with offering total service value as we are the lowest possible cost.”
The Environment Agency’s data estimates that the UK produces 380,000 tonnes of B2B WEEE each year, although this lower-than-predicted total suggests a number of B2B electronics producers have still to register. This is in addition to the estimated 1.4 million tonnes of consumer WEEE produced annually in the UK – ERP UK’s members account for around 13% of this consumer WEEE.
Compliance schemes such as ERP UK have developed to enable electronics producers to meet their obligations under the European Union’s WEEE Directive, which came into force in the UK on 1 July 2007. Under these regulations, the manufacturers and importers of electrical goods must pay for the collection and recycling of these goods at the end of their useful lives, with these obligations being assessed on the basis of the weight of goods that they release to the market each year.
Philip Jolly | alfa
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