Disturbing EU-wide scale of WEEE non-compliance through online marketplaces

The results of a multi-national study into non-compliance of product sold through online marketplaces were revealed at a workshop hosted in Brussels on 6 November by EucoLight.

EucoLight, the European Association for lighting WEEE compliance schemes, undertook a study of over 4200 products made available for sale through online marketplaces in 10 EU countries.  The results showed an exceptionally high level of non-compliance with national WEEE requirements.  The non-compliance was evident across a wide range of product groups. However, smaller products, such as LED lightbulbs, were particularly problematic, with non-compliance in the range of 78-100%.

Recolight CEO and former EucoLight Vice President Nigel Harvey said  “The high level of evasion of WEEE obligations this study has uncovered is truly shocking.  This is non-compliance on an industrial scale.”

He went on “It was therefore very pleasing to hear that a number of countries, including the UK, are considering a range of different solutions to address the issue.  This patchwork approach could make compliance more awkward for the online marketplaces, but it is the only way to address the problem quickly.”

Natalia Sierra Conde, Director of Institutional Relations of Ambilamp Spain, and Chair of the EucoLight Policy Working Group said “Making multi-seller online platforms responsible for compliance is the simple solution.  There are far fewer organisations reporting data, which makes audit checks and monitoring easier. And the risk of avoidance of financial obligations is much reduced.”

Commenting on the outcome of the discussions, EucoLight Secretary General Marc Guiraud said “When considering which approach to adopt, EucoLight actively encourages all Member States to require online marketplaces to fulfil the role of producer, in respect of all product brought into the national territory via their platform.”

www.recolight.co.uk