It is a busy time on the legislation front with the Registration, Evaluation and Authorisation of Chemicals (REACH) directive coming into force on 1st June and the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) directive’s latter stages coming into force in the UK on 1st July.
I’ve been pretty impressed with the businesses I have visited over the last few months – most of them have understood the implications of both and have action plans in motion. I did however speak to one major highstreet retail chain who had an unrelated query about some electrical devices. The end of the conversation went:
Me: “You do realise they come under the WEEE directive.”
Client: “Ah, but, we’re not selling them.”
Me: “Doesn’t matter, you still need to dispose of them via an approved facility.”
Client: (long silence) “Oh.”
I’m not surprised he hadn’t grasped this as most of the focus on the legislation has been on domestic WEEE and it is more difficult to find information on industrial WEEE. The moral of the story is to make sure you do understand exactly what the implications are for your business. Trade bodies are a good source of information and your regulator can help (certainly in England & Wales, the Environment Agency tries to be a coach as well as a policeman).
UK businesses can also contact Envirowise on any environmental issue relating to your business – the phone number is 0800 585794. The NetRegs website is also good, but seems to have become a little harder to navigate in the last couple of years.