19 July 2007 | Antony Barton
Buyers may face price rises because of new rules on the disposal of electrical and electronic products.
The Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) Regulations, introduced this month, compel manufacturers, importers and vendors to pay for the collection and recycling of some equipment.
Tim Ross, commercial development manager at recycling consultancy Valpak, said most producers are still trying to find a way to finance this service, which covers items such as printers, computers and desk lamps. Lighting manufacturers in the UK have added 15p to the price of products to help meet these costs.
"If your suppliers are trying to increase their prices because of these regulations, you need to ask for proof that it's really representative of the recycling costs and demand some form of collection service," Ross added.
Despite the rules being passed in the EU in 2003, some suppliers have failed to engage with their customers to make compliance easier. Arthur Craig, a purchaser at wood-panelling manufacturer Kronospan who buys office equipment for 680 staff, said none of his suppliers have contacted him about the regulations.