LONDON Some British companies could be breaking the law as from today (March 15) as the Government has failed to consider the impact on business with the Waste Electronic and Electrical Equipment (WEEE) directive, a firm closely involved in the scheme has warned.
All producers of electronic and electrical waste in England and Wales are required to join an approved Producer Compliance Scheme (PCS) as of today under the European directive.
However, according to Leeds, England-based WeeeCare, the Government has, through lack of targeted information and properly funded publicity, put a great number of decent British companies at risk of breaking the law.
According to WeeeCare which says it was the first compliance scheme to have received EA (Environment Agency) approval in January and runs the only scheme to provide upfront, low costs for ensuring complete, professional compliance 65 percent of small to medium sized companies in the U.K. "have no idea what to do, or if they need to be signed up to a WEEE recycling scheme."
Particularly badly affected are said to be companies who import, manufacture, rebadge and sell electrical or electronic equipment (EEE), who will miss today's deadline for registration with a compliance scheme.
Compliance schemes must register their members with the EA by March 31.
WeeeCare, a division of environmental group WasteCare, claims that while most of the other EA approved schemes have no experience of collecting or treating WEEE and hence have no idea what their costs will be, it has taken the unusual step of guaranteeing the cost for 2007, by underwriting their charges.
The company's acting chief executive, Kevin Bray is concerned that: "For many companies the cost of compliance has been completely over-hyped, with some schemes charging them thousands of pounds just to join. Their impact on the environment through supply of EEE is low, and it is right that their costs should be equally low."