Report reveals ‘shocking’ scale of online WEEE avoidance

ONLINE suppliers of lighting equipment are evading their responsibilities under waste laws to a ‘shocking’ extent, a report has revealed.

Natalia Sierra Conde, director of Institutional Relations of Ambilamp Spain, and chair of the EucoLight Policy Working Group told a workshop in Brussels:  ‘Making multi-seller online platforms responsible for compliance is the simple solution'

A Europe-wide study into non-compliance with Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) laws of lighting products sold through online marketplaces reveal an exceptionally high level of non-compliance with national requirements.

EucoLight, the European Association for lighting WEEE compliance schemes, undertook a study of over 4,200 products made available for sale through online marketplaces in 10 EU countries.

The non-compliance was evident across a wide range of product groups. However, smaller products, such as LED lightbulbs, were particularly problematic, with non-compliance in the range of 78-100 per cent.

Recolight CEO and former EucoLight vice president Nigel Harvey told Lux:  ‘The high level of evasion of WEEE obligations this study has uncovered is truly shocking.  This is non-compliance on an industrial scale.

‘It’s therefore very pleasing to hear that a number of countries, including the UK, are considering a range of different solutions to address the issue.

‘This patchwork approach could make compliance more awkward for the online marketplaces, but it is the only way to address the problem quickly.’

Natalia Sierra Conde, director of Institutional Relations of Ambilamp Spain, and chair of the EucoLight Policy Working Group told a workshop in Brussels:  ‘Making multi-seller online platforms responsible for compliance is the simple solution.  There are far fewer organisations reporting data, which makes audit checks and monitoring easier. And the risk of avoidance of financial obligations is much reduced.’

Commenting on the outcome of the discussions, EucoLight secretary general Marc Guiraud said ‘When considering which approach to adopt, EucoLight actively encourages all member states to require online marketplaces to fulfil the role of producer, in respect of all product brought into the national territory via their platform.’

How lighting compares to other consumer electrical appliances. 

 

  • A major conference on Lighting’s role in the circular economy will take place in the Crystal building at Royal Victoria Docks in London on Tuesday 24 March 2020. Organised by the waste electrical and electronic equipment compliance body Recolight and chaired by Ray Molony, the event aims to shape the industry’s move to a low-waste model. For more information, and to register your interest, click HERE.