Government reforms on reuse and recycling of electrical goods

Management & Growth, News,

The Government has announced new UK-wide plans designed to make it easier to recycle electrical goods.

A range of measures are proposed, including:

  • Collecting waste electrical items directly from households. These collections would be financed by the manufacturers, and not the taxpayer.
  • Free of charge collection drop points for electrical items being provided by large retailers, without a need to buy a replacement product from the retailer.
  • When delivering replacement large electrical items, such as fridges and cookers, the retailer being responsible for collecting the old one.

The proposals intend to make recycling of electrical goods much easier and increase the volumes.

It’s estimated that 155,000 tonnes of smaller electrical items, including cables, toasters, kettles, and power tools, currently go to landfill rather than being recycled. It’s estimated that a further 527 million unwanted electrical items are sitting unused in UK homes but contain valuable materials such as gold, silver, and platinum that could be reused.

The example is given that during the Christmas period each year, 500 tonnes of Christmas lights are thrown away in the UK.

The scale of the problem and the potential for reuse of materials mean these proposals have the potential to drive further growth in the UK’s treatment and re-use sector and benefit those businesses working or expanding into this area.

The announcement also reports on a recent study on public attitudes and behaviours around recycling. The study found that around 86% of people in the UK think that recycling and the associated time it takes to do this properly is worthwhile. More than 77% of householders would see a retailer offering an electrical recycling service as more environmentally responsible.

With this in mind, being able to show customers that you have an environmentally conscious business is likely to be beneficial for you, quite apart from the benefits to the environment!

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