The Environment Agency has announced it will take the necessary steps to stop illegal waste carriers and improve road safety in England.

The agency has said that companies must register as a waste carrier if they either transport waste, or buy, sell or dispose of waste. They added that some carriers operate illegally without the necessary licence, and do not dispose of waste legally.

Any business that uses a waste carrier must check that they are registered to dispose of waste and not allow the waste carrier to dispose of their waste illegally, the EA has warned.

The Agency said: “Every year waste crime costs taxpayers and businesses £1 billion. The Environment Agency spent almost £15 million stopping illegal waste activity between April 2015 and March 2016.”

The Environment Agency and DVSA will share intelligence and carry out joint operations in England to stop waste being illegally transported, and target unsafe drivers and vehicles. As part of the agreement, enforcement teams will also be provided with up-to date and relevant intelligence about waste industry operators.

The WEEE Directive- What is it? 

The aim of the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Directive (WEEE Directive) is to reduce the amount of electronic and electrical waste going straight to landfill.

The WEEE Directive together with the RoHS Directive became European Law in 2003 and was introduced to the UK in 2006. The Directive primarily sets targets for the collection, recovery and recycling for all electrical equipment whereas the RoHS Directive controls the material content of new electronic equipment being manufactured.

The WEEE Directive calls upon all producers and manufacturers to take responsibility for the equipment they make and sell when it eventually becomes redundant. In 2012 revisions were made to increase the collection rates. The overall aim is for the EU to be recycling over 85% of electrical and electronic waste by 2016.

WEEE- Are There Any Exemptions? 

Certain items of electrical and electronic equipment (EEE) are exempt from WEEE compliance regulations and therefore do not come under the terms of the WEEE directive. These include:

  • Equipment that is not dependent on electricity to work properly in its primary function
  • Equipment that is part of a type of equipment which falls outside the scope of the regulations (eg. Part of an aircraft or car)
  • EEE that is specifically designed for military purposes, or to protect UK national security
  • Filament light bulbs
  • Household luminaries for fluorescent lamps
  • Large-scale stationary industrial tools
  • Implanted or infected medical equipment

B2B Or B2C- How Do I Know The Difference? 

The terms B2B (‘business to business’) and B2C (‘business to consumer’) are a bit misleading when it comes to WEEE compliance regulations. What’s actually important, as far as a producer is concerned, isn’t who sells the EEE but who ends up using it. 

In simple terms- if a producer sells EEE to a retailer, who sells it to a member of the public, then this is B2C. On the other hand, if a producer sells EEE directly to a business, or to a business via one or more third parties, this is B2B.

Do you have any questions? Feel free to contact us. 


The Plastics Recycler Luxus, Nordic processor Polykemi and plastics manufacturer One51 have secured a total of £1.29m in investment from the EU Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme for a project to sort black plastic waste.

The Horizon 2020 programme “promises more breakthroughs, discoveries and world-firsts by taking great ideas from the lab to the market”.

The funding will contribute towards a two-year project aimed at replacing carbon black and many other pigments with near-infrared (NIR) detectable alternatives.

Currently black plastic packaging (usually in the form of ready meal trays) is coloured using carbon black pigments, which do not enable the pack to be sorted by the existing optical sorting systems used widely in plastics recycling as the black pigment reflects little or no light.

A Producer Compliance Scheme has warned that sellers of up to 20% of the total of LED lamps sold to consumers in the UK may be in breach of WEEE regulations.

The warning which was announced by Recolight comes after the organisation, which focuses on WEEE compliance for the lamp and lighting sector, gathered data to estimate the scale of WEEE non-compliance through some online retailers.

Recolight’s findings have focused on LED lamps sold through multi-seller online retailers, and has been submitted to consultants preparing a report for the OECD on the impact of online sales on WEEE compliance.

Under the current WEEE regulations, producers and distributors of electrical goods are required to finance the collection and treatment of their products at the end of life.

Recolight claims that many online sellers, particularly those based outside of the EU but selling through established international retail websites (with UK presence), may be placing their goods onto the market without registering with a WEEE compliance scheme in the UK.


It has been reported over the previous few weeks that a number of Recycling companies are taking action to tackle a reported national shortage of qualified drivers.

The shortage has been increased due to a number of factors including job demands as well as the strict requirements around licensing for drivers. Concerns have also been raised of the availability of drivers post-Brexit. 

The Freight Transport Association (FTA) confirmed that driver shortage has been an ongoing concern for the last 15 years if not more.

James Hookham, deputy chief executive of the FTA said: “It’s a big problem and it’s not going away."

“There’s several factors, it’s quite demanding work, it’s not a cosy office job. It also demands a lot of energy and attention. You can’t just do a course. You need a licence and training, and it’s quite expensive. So you can’t just walk out of a job and become a driver – it’s quite tough to get in to.”

It was also further explained that there is a low number of women joining the field, which is thought to be for a number of reasons, including lack of roadside facilities, which he said local authorities need to do more to provide. Mr Hookham also outlined the need to appeal to a younger generation.


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