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25 July 2006

FSB calls for practical application of electrical waste rules

Reference number: PR 2006 72

FSB News Release

PR/2006/72

Issue date:  Tuesday July 25 2006

FSB calls for practical application of electrical waste rules

The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) has called for the government’s implementation of an EU Directive regulating the disposal of electrical goods to be affordable and easy to understand.

The government today launched a consultation on the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Directive (WEEE), which requires businesses to take back electronic goods for recycling or contribute to the cost of new collection facilities. The Directive will affect anyone who manufactures, sells, imports or exports electrical equipment, as well as retailers of those products.

The FSB welcomed the opportunity to make the voice of small firms heard on the WEEE Directive, but warned that the cost of compliance must be minimised and that the new rules should be simple and easy to follow.

John Holbrow, FSB Environment Chairman, said:

“We’re pleased that there is a full consultation on this Directive because it could cause monumental damage to small retailers if the government gets the implementation wrong.

“It is unfortunate that there is no exemption for the very smallest businesses, who can ill afford the expense and bureaucracy involved in taking back unwanted electrical goods. It is, therefore, even more important that the new rules are practical, affordable and easy to understand.

“The last thing we need is an expensive, bureaucratic mess. Hopefully, it won’t come to that.”