Large retailers will have to offer in-store WEEE take-back from 2021

The UK’s Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) has approved the fifth phase of its Distributor Takeback Scheme (DTS) for waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE), confirming that the DTS will cease to be applicable for larger retailers by the end of 2020.

The fourth phase of the DTS, which came to an end on 31 December 2019, allowed retailers to pay a fee to cover their recycling obligations, providing funds for local authority WEEE collection schemes.

Under the new system, larger retailers with an excess of £100,000 of turnover in sales of electrical and electronic equipment (EEE) will no longer be able to join the DTS from 31 December 2020, but will instead be obliged to provide in-store take-back facilities from January 2021. Smaller stores and online retailers will be exempt from the changes.