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WEEE Review: 2023 WEEE Collection Figures Analysis

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As we stride into 2024, reflections on the past year’s achievements and challenges provide valuable insights into the journey towards a more circular economy.

The recently published 2023 WEEE collection data by the Environment Agency unveils a promising narrative of progress. Graeme Milne, Chief Executive of WEEE producer compliance scheme REPIC reviews the data:

WEEE Collection data for 2023 reviewed by the UK’s largest WEEE Compliance Scheme


“In 2023, total household WEEE collections saw a 1.2% increase compared to the previous year, demonstrating a positive trend in our collective efforts towards recycling and responsible disposal. For the first time in seven years, our sector has not only witnessed an increase in total household WEEE collections but has also met the total household WEEE collection target, which was exceeded by 0.2%.

“This achievement is particularly noteworthy considering that three categories, Large Household Appliances, Automatic Dispensers, and Gas Discharge Lamps categories saw reductions in WEEE collections when compared to the previous year.

“The largest tonnage shortfall against the 2023 target was observed in Large Household Appliances, most likely due to high secondary metal prices throughout the year. Our own research underscores the inverse relationship between secondary metal prices and WEEE collected in the system, highlighting the need for strategic interventions.

“The reported figures show a decline in the amount of EEE placed on the market by weight compared to 2022. This trend was consistent across most categories, except Small Household Appliances, Electrical and Electronic Tools and PV Panels. The overall reduction was. 0.2%, 3.5% excluding PV Panels, however in some categories it was much higher – for instance in Display, which was 14.4% lower than the year before. Once again highlighting the complex dynamics between EEE and WEEE and why setting targets is challenging. We are pleased to see the consultation has questions on future target setting and other measures of success that may be more appropriate as we seek to develop a more circular economy.”

WEEE targets for 2024 reviewed by the UK’s largest WEEE Compliance Scheme

Looking ahead to 2024, REPIC share thoughts on the proposed WEEE collection targets which reflect an upward trajectory, with specific categories facing larger increases.

Graeme Milne, Chief Executive of WEEE producer compliance scheme REPIC, comments on the proposed 2024 WEEE collection targets:

“Setting targets remains challenging due to the intricate relationship between EEE and WEEE, as explored in our Looking Back to Look Forward report. While the 2024 target reflects a 1.4% increase over 2023 collections, specific categories like Display (4.7%), Small Mixed (3.7%), and PV Panels (35.5%) face larger increases. Compared to the change in collections between 2022 and 2023 some of the category targets appear challenging.

“We acknowledge the potential challenges, especially given economic uncertainties. However, our commitment to achieving a circular economy extends beyond collection targets and requires a focus to maximise the in-use phase of products through reuse and refurbishment where this is economically and environmentally desirable to do so. We are encouraged by the consultation’s exploration of alternative measures of success that may be more appropriate.”





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