Retailer and Distributor Take Back

With the Distributor Take-back Scheme (DTS) changes coming into effect on 1st January 2021, unless exempt, companies operating stores that sell electrical products will need to provide an in-store waste electricals takeback service to their customers.

REPIC can help your company to comply with these new Distributor take-back obligations. Our national network of approved service providers enables us to tailor support for our scheme members’ take back activities through the provision of fully compliant collection and treatment services. Offering a personal service to each scheme member and providing a compliant one stop solution for producer responsibility.

What are the changes to the Distributor Take-Back Scheme?

From 1st January 2021, if your company sells £100,000 or more of EEE per year and has at least one physical store, you can no longer opt out of in store takeback of waste electricals by joining the DTS.

Previously, it was possible for all Distributors to join the Distributor Take-back Scheme (DTS) to alleviate their obligations to take back waste electricals. The DTS will now only accept applications from online only Distributors or those companies with stores that have EEE sales of less than £100,000 per year. All other businesses with Distributor obligations must now make arrangements to provide an in-store takeback service.

The aim of this change is to ensure that consumers have an easily accessible method of disposing of waste electricals when purchasing new products.

What in-store take back service do I need to provide?

If your company sells £100,000 or more of EEE per year and has at least one physical store, Distributors will need to take Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) back in store.

WEEE take back in store

There are two types of take-back requirements that are relevant for all obligated Distributors:

  • ‘Like for Like’ take back
  • General take back

‘Like for Like’ Take Back – All obligated Distributors

Retailers and Distributors must allow consumers to return items equivalent in type to those they purchase from the retailer. This accounts for both items bought in-store and those provided via online / mail order service. Brand and cost are not considered relevant factors here, but function and usage are; for example, if a customer purchases a brand new DVD player to replace an outdated VHS player, the retailer must still accept the exchange item.

In store services must be free of charge but costs of transport can be applied for items collected at the point of home delivery.

This service must be offered for all types of product the retailer sells and a 28 day period from point of purchase needs to be offered to the consumer during which they can return an equivalent waste item.

‘General’ take back – Retailers with >400 square metres floor space

Retailers with greater than 400 square metres floor space allocated to the sale of electrical products (including aisle, display and shelf space) will be required to accept all items of “very small WEEE”.

You must provide this service to everyone for free, regardless of whether they’ve bought anything from your store.

‘Very small WEEE’ are items of waste electrical and electronic equipment that are less than 25cm on their longest side.

What WEEE collection service is available to REPIC members?

REPIC offers a nationwide waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) Retailer and Distributor take back collection and recycling service and an experienced hand to help you to comply with your new obligations.

Providing a tailored service to each scheme member with a take-back obligation, REPIC works with approved service providers to provide a fully compliant service.

Designed to match your specific needs around coverage, volumes and space in store, REPIC can provide a one stop solution for retailers with just one store, through to those with 100s of nationwide stores.

REPIC can offer solutions for single WEEE streams or more complex mixed WEEE loads. Whether the waste is packaged, hazardous or non-hazardous, we have a solution.

Solutions include WEEE boxes and WEEE bags with collection frequencies tailored to the store’s requirements.


REPIC uses its extensive operational experience in managing and handling WEEE, to deliver effective take back solutions to meet members’ obligations quickly.

Our market leading compliance solutions operate to high standards of corporate governance, providing you with peace of mind that your obligations are being met with both appropriate standards of safety and a quality and efficient service.

Benefits of using the REPIC WEEE Retailer and Distributor Take back service include:

  • Individual advice on obligations and business changes
  • Single point of contact for all your WEEE collection needs
  • Flexible, tailored service to suit your individual requirements
  • Training workshops for all store staff to ensure safe and efficient handling of WEEE
  • High quality, cost effective service
  • Individual member compliance reviews
  • Cradle-to-grave tracking and reporting of WEEE collected and treated to provide auditable compliance
  • Annual confirmation of compliance with your producer WEEE obligations