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REPIC’s award winning project to investigate the carbon footprint of the WEEE system


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REPIC, the industry leading waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) producer compliance scheme, is proud that the work undertaken on its behalf by Lancaster University Masters student Matthew Bond, to investigate the carbon footprint of REPIC’s  WEEE collection activities in the UK, has been recognised  by the ECO-I North West research and development programme.

The news comes as a peloton of cyclists set off from Gateshead to Northallerton on stage eight of the REPIC WEEE Cycle Network event on Friday 9th June, a distance of 66 miles.

REPIC, is undertaking the event to mark the 15 year anniversary of the UK’s WEEE regulations. Five members of the REPIC team were joined by Davy Harris and Jack Simpson from GAP Group NE on the eighth stage of the 15 day cycling event.

The event aims to bring together the wider sector to celebrate the achievements of those involved in the reuse and recycling of waste electricals. In total, the 15 day, 15 location and 15 great stories event, will cover a distance of over 850 miles, from Alness in the Highlands to Sittingbourne, Kent.

Celebrating 15 great stories along the route, and joining up a network of AATFs, Local Authority sites, repair and reuse initiatives, the REPIC WEEE Cycle Network event is also providing an opportunity to look forward to what lies ahead in both the forthcoming WEEE consultation and the transition to a more circular economy.

The Carbon Footprint of WEEE

This project investigated the carbon footprint of REPIC’s WEEE collection activities in the UK, utilising a combined material flow analysis (MFA) and life cycle assessment (LCA).

Led by Lancaster University research masters graduate, Matthew Bond, the research identified that whilst the collection, transportation and treatment of WEEE has a carbon impact due to its energy and material requirements, the effective recovery and reuse or recycling of WEEE results in a net carbon benefit when the recovered materials are taken into account.

The model is now being developed further to provide REPIC’s producer members with the opportunity to assess the wider carbon impact of their products. The research also highlighted the potential for improvements in the carbon footprint of WEEE through the optimisation of logistics.

The project received special recognition from ECO-I North West, with Matthew Bond from Lancaster University receive the ‘Most impactful postgraduate’ award at an awards event held in May 2023.

This Masters Research project was conducted by Lancaster University and published in May 2022. Eco-I North West is part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund.

 Download full report: https://eprints.lancs.ac.uk/id/eprint/169481/1/2022BondMRes.pdf

Commenting on the involvement in the research project, REPIC’s Chief Executive, Louise Grantham, added: “REPIC is committed to making a difference and research projects can provide a valuable opportunity to improve the sector’s knowledge, data and intelligence. This particular project was achieved via collaborative research between academia and business and has proved to be invaluable for our producer members in helping them to consider the wider carbon impact of their products.”

 

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