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What is WEEE?

WEEE is waste electrical and electronic equipment. It is end-of-life electrical and electronic equipment and covers virtually everything with a plug or battery. It is classed as either household or non-household WEEE.

The EC introduced the WEEE Directive in 2002 to address the environmental impacts of unwanted electrical and electronic equipment at end-of-life disposal.

It is a ‘producer responsibility’ directive which means that producers are required to take financial responsibility for the environmental impact of the products that they place on the market, specifically when those products become waste.

All affected producers and distributors of EEE must comply. The objective of the directive is to promote recycling, minimise waste and stimulate the development of more environmentally friendly products for the future. In the UK, it has been transposed into national law by Statutory Instrument 3289: The Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Regulations 2006, as amended. It became law on 2nd January 2007.

Defra is the lead government department responsible for the WEEE Regulations in the UK and works in partnership with the devolved administrations. The Environment Agencies are the enforcement agencies in relation to producer responsibilities; the VCA on behalf of BIS for distributor (retailer) obligations. The Department of Environment Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) is responsible for the permitting of authorised treatment facilities.