MPs criticise Defra for not tackling “e-waste tsunami”

Technology devices neatly organized in a drawer
Hard drives, chargers, tablet, smart phones neatly organized in a drawer.

The Environmental Audit Committee has criticised the UK government for making “little progress” to tackle the “e-waste tsunami”.

Four years after the government accepted or partly accepted recommendations from an Environmental Audit Committee (EAC) report, the Committee has raised concerns about the lack of progress on waste, electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE). EAC is calling for more to be done on embedding a circular economy to use, reuse and recycle electronic products.

The Committee said it is encouraged to see that online marketplaces are to be subject to producer responsibility requirements, which it said will level the playing field with high street retailers, in the government’s consultation “Electrical waste: reforming the producer responsibility system”. EAC also said it welcomes proposals for mandatory collection of e-waste.

However, the Committee said the consultation’s “relatively narrow focus” fails to address many of EAC’s 2020 recommendations. Proposals such as ensuring products sold on online marketplaces are compliant with the law, addressing planned obsolescence and making electrical items safe to repair for the consumer are not part of the government’s plans, EAC said.



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