Louise Grantham, chief executive of market leading WEEE producer compliance scheme, REPIC, addressed an online audience of attendees from AATF, producer, compliance scheme, local authority and collectors concerning the impact of Covid-19 on the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) recycling sector.
She was joined in the session by AATF Forum Chairman, Phil Conran from 360 Environmental and Susanne Baker, chair of the JTA and Associate Director of Climate, Environment and Sustainability at techUK. All three offered their perspectives on the challenges and impact on meeting this year’s targets and setting targets for future years. Collectively there is concern that Covid-19 will continue to impact on the WEEE sector for some time, so continuing the industry wide approach to identifying issues and exploring solutions will remain important. Following the individual presentations, a lively Q&A session took place with Nigel Harvey from Recolight, Clare Snow from ICER and Peter Moody from headline sponsor, Gap Group, answering questions from the online audience.
REPIC has made the WEEE Conference presentation available for download from its resources section.
Louise Grantham spoke of the opportunity to take time to review and define the roles of all the actors in the system – businesses, including collectors and distributors, local authorities, producers, reuse organisations and treatment organisations, as well as consumers and government. The roles and requirements of all actors who influence WEEE is a vital ingredient in helping to develop a more resilient circular economy for the future.
REPIC’s chief executive addressed the need to understand consumers and their behaviour – exploring what motivates them to reuse, resell and buy second hand, return instead of stockpiling, and recycle instead of wrongly discarding – to help find messages and solutions to enable people to do the right thing.
Sharing top line insights from the latest REPIC Consumer Survey, which showed that a UK household contains on average 65 electrical products and 15 of these are unused.
The results of the survey are summarised in a report which provides valuable information for stakeholders in the WEEE recycling sector as it explores the variety of different products in the home today, and looks at what percentages of these electricals are working, unused or broken. It also provides detailed findings and information on the reasons for differences between households and the general public perception of electricals recycling.
Louise Grantham, chief executive of REPIC, comments on the report: “It is important that we continue to build knowledge on the whole mix of electricals found in today’s home. Our findings confirm that more information is needed to make consumers aware of what to do with their end of life products. Our findings support the national WEEE awareness campaign, Recycle Your Electricals, which has developed a range of messages and activities to get the UK recycling and reusing more of its electricals.
It is also clear that consumers are responsive to seeing their old, used or broken appliances not just as waste but as a resource. They need information on this as well as about how and where to recycle. Understanding the value in end of life products and the materials they contain is key in making the circular economy tangible to consumers.”
The WEEE Conference is an annual date in the WEEE sector calendar and organised by the Environmental Media Group. REPIC was proud industry sponsor of this year’s conference. Maintaining networks and dialogue, where face to face now means on screen, is necessary and important.
The full report will be published shortly on REPIC Resource Hub.