MP accuses companies of operating WEEE recycling “cartel”


Labour MP Kate Green has requested a debate in Parliament on the operation of what she called a “cartel” by four multinational companies.

The MP for Stretford and Urmston asked Leader of the House Andrew Lansley for a debate on the issue on 29 November in the House of Commons.


She asked: “May we have a debate on the apparent abuse of the electrical equipment recycling market. Four multi-nationals – Sylvania, GE, Osman and Philips – appear to be seeking to subvert the effect of the forthcoming recast waste electrical and electronic directive by operating a cartel in relation to the recycling of waste electrical equipment, which is putting the viability of independent recycling companies and local jobs, including in my constituency, at risk.”

Leader of the House Andrew Lansley responded: “I am interested in what the hon. Lady says, but I am sure she will understand that I am not in a position to comment on it without any direct knowledge of these issues.

“From her description, she should bear in mind not only the question of whether that is a suitable topic for debate in the House, but the fact that, as I know from having served on the Standing Committees of the Competition Bill and the Enterprise Bill in previous Parliament’s, legislation is in place that allows her and others who have evidence to go to the Office of Fair Trading for investigation of those practices.”

The four companies were founder members of lamp recycling body Recolight, and claims brought against it and its founder members by EWRG and CEF for breach of the WEEE Regulations and competition law were dismissed by the High Court on agreed terms.

It is understood that Manchester firm Mercury Recycling has now submitted a complaint to the Office of Fair Trading regarding the matter.