Competition from new entrants that are collecting business WEEE for recycling is making it difficult for organisations that needs this material to meet producer responsibility obligations, a new report says.
As entrepreneurial businesses emerge to capitalise on the resource value of WEEE, there is a lack of clarity and transparency around material flows and treatments that could impact on producers’ legal obligations to finance recycling.
This is according to a new paper, written by LRS consultant Richard Peagam that has been published in the Yale Journal of Industrial Ecology on extended producer responsibility.
As lead author of the paper Business-to-Business Information Technology (B2B IT) User Practices at End of Life in the United Kingdom, Germany and France, his research shows that recycling and refurbishment of B2B IT units at end of use is commonplace, but it is likely these units are not reported by businesses.
His paper concludes that to achieve the goals of extended producer responsibility for B2B IT WEEE, the networks and operational practices of these streams need to be better understood when developing business strategies and Government policies.
Richard Peagam said: “I hope the information in my paper will benefit government, compliance schemes and organisations along the electrical and electronic equipment supply chain.
“It is a good source of evidence about the B2B WEEE market in Europe and with the materials used in electrical and electronic equipment becoming widely recognised as a commodity, there are both opportunities and risks for organisations along the supply chain, including producers, collectors, compliance schemes and re-users/recyclers. The evidence I have presented highlights the risks to producer responsibility and should stimulate ideas to overcome them.”