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Pharma Asks: What can WEEE do?

The Waste Electronic and Electrical Equipment (WEEE) legislation hits all individuals and non-householders (industry, business, civil service, health authorities, schools, hospitals, offices and charities) in different ways; Carl Krüger at B2B Compliance investigates

Everyone in the pharmaceutical world has responsibilities under the 2006 WEEE Regulations – all individuals (householders), all organisations and all operations where an electrical item is used. The wide-ranging impact of this catch-all legislation has not generally been recognised as yet – let alone the appropriate actions initiated – but general awareness is rising. The basic tenet behind the legislation is that the producer shall pay for the recovery and recycling of the electrical items once they are declared waste. The impact on the individual is that they are likely to face higher prices and will be expected to separate WEEE when they drop off their waste at a civic amenity site or hand it back over the counter at a retailer. The impact on a non-producer organisation is that they can now get their WEEE removed from their premises with the producer paying the recovery and recycling costs. And the impact on a producer is that they have to pay for this. Ultimately, of course, prices on all electrical and electronic equipment (EEE) will go up to compensate for this final factor but, until all producers have taken things on board, there may be price fluctuations to compensate.

EEE, or Electrical and Electronic Equipment, is at present defined as widely as that. There are specific areas where EEE is deemed out of scope for this piece of legislation (military and shipboard equipment) as well as certain uses and approaches (industrial plant components and so forth). The danger is that the guidance on scope is at times vague, and should ideally be read with a strategic insight into what is best for the organisation involved. The producer is defined as: the original manufacturer; the company that re-brands a bought-in product; or the company that imports a product into the UK. Thus, producers can be involved in any operation that is not the final user of the EEE.


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Carl Krüger is an internationally-experienced strategic and environmental consultant. After working with Ernst & Young, BPB plc and HBOS, he joined Strateco Limited, a strategic environmental consultancy, as Director. One of his roles within Strateco is to facility manage the WEEE Compliance Scheme, B2B Compliance. As Project Director of B2B Compliance, Carl has pursued the cause of this producer-led compliance scheme since well before the legislation was even in final form. He has given seminars and workshops numerous companies and written a number of articles in both trade and business press on WEEE, its impact and the solutions. Carl has an MSc in Environmental Technology from Imperial College, London and an MBA in Business Administration from Cranfield University.
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Carl Krüger
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