New research funding to address 500,000 tonnes of WEEE lost every year

Up to £50k available to fund research that addresses some of the significant losses of electrical waste currently occurring.

The new funding was announced last week by Material Focus (formally the WEEE Fund). Their report Electrical Waste: Challenges and Opportunities released in July identified that in the UK currently, 500,000 tonnes of waste electricals are lost through being thrown away, hoarded, stolen or illegally exported. 

They are seeking a range of applications for research proposals that require funding in the region of £20,000 to £50,000 that can help address this issue.

Material Focus funds technical research into the barriers to reuse and recycling of old electricals. Insights from this research aims to galvanise new approaches to recycling – such as innovative models of collection, better enforcement, and more efficient use of resources, with buy-in from local authorities, businesses and community groups.

This latest announcement is the third round of research funding that Material Focus has launched. Previously this year, £2.5m of grants and interest-free loans were distributed by Material Focus to support the electrical waste and re-use sector hit by the COVID-19 crisis.

Identify solutions

The funding is made possible by the WEEE compliance fee that Material Focus manage. This is paid by compliance schemes when there is a shortfall of WEEE evidence to procure to offset members obligations - a common occurrence with the annual WEEE recycling targets not being met for the last three years.

Scott Butler, Executive Director, Material Focus commented "The research will be vital to ensuring that we identify solutions to addressing the huge amount of electrical waste that in the UK is currently being thrown away, hoarded, stolen or illegally exported."

"We are seeking research proposals that provide innovative solutions to this challenge. A key component of the research will be to ensure that these solutions have buy-in from a range of stakeholders across the sector to ensure that they are practical and viable to deliver."

For more information on how to apply for research funding go to the Recycle Your Electricals website and sign up as a research applicant.

Later this year Ecosurety is also set to announce the first winners of the Ecosurety Exploration Fund that is investing £1million over three years into projects that can reduce the environmental impact of packaging, batteries or WEEE through innovation or research.



Ben Luger

Marketing projects specialist

Ben joined the team at the beginning of 2015 and helps drive marketing communications and projects for Ecosurety, including project managing the launch of the Ecosurety Exploration Fund and website content development.

Written by Ben Luger Published 14/09/2020 Topics WEEE
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