Ministers from Defra have today confirmed approval of a modified proposal from retailers for an Interim Phase 5 of the Distributor Takeback Scheme
Last month we reported that the DTS was at risk as ministers had not been able to approve the proposals setting out how the scheme would run in 2020, due to the general election.
The DTS was set up as a way for retailers to avoid the requirement to take back an item of WEEE when a customer purchases a new item of EEE, on a one to one basis. By paying into the DTS instead, the monies raised would be invested in collection infrastructure and projects aimed at increasing WEEE recycling.
A limited extension of the scheme
Ministers have today decided to approve the proposal put forward, but with the modification that it will only extend to large retailers (Bands A and B members of the existing DTS) with retail premises until 31 December 2020. After this date, they will be required to do in store take back in line with the Regulations.
Smaller stores (current Band C members) and online retailers without physical, retail premises will be able to continue their membership until the expiration of the scheme on 31 December 2021.
The Office for Product Safety and Standards will be communicating with retailers in due course setting out their obligations as a result of this decision.
Ambitious and challenging collection targets
In the short-term Defra has advised that no immediate action will need to be taken with regard to establishing in-store take back facilities, but larger retailers with physical premises must note that their obligations will change from 1 January 2021, from which point they will no longer have the option to join the DTS.
Defra has made clear that "this decision has been taken in the context of new approaches being required to meet the more ambitious and challenging collection targets in 2020 and beyond", echoing industry feedback that the DTS was not incentivising obligated retailers to offer a take-back service for consumers, a vital component of a strong collection network.
If you would like to know more about fullfilling take back obligations, Ecosurety can help with our UK-wide collection service for WEEE and batteries. Please contact our team for more information.
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.