Pressure from concerned retailers has forced the government to postpone its implementation of the Waste Electronic and Electrical Equipment Directive for six months until June 2006.
The Department of Trade and Industry announced this week that companies needed more time to prepare for the WEEE regulations, which puts the responsibility for collection and recycling of items such as fridges on the manufacturers and retailers of the equipment.
For retailers it means they will be obligated to offer take-back services to households either in-store or at collection facilities, while producers will have to finance the treatment, recycling and recovery of WEEE in the UK.
Concerns within the industry have included the burden of clear traceability of the items that fall under the directive, as well as the timing of the implementation, which would have coincided with its busy Christmas trading season.
The DTI was originally supposed to have transposed the directive into UK law by this month. It was then delayed to January and now to June next year, while the DTI thrashes out details of the implementation.