Since July 1, new regulations have been in effect for the drop-off of electronic waste. 25,000 new redemption sites have been created as a result of the decision. Supermarkets and drugstores with a store area of more than 800 square meters have been obliged since July to take back smaller discarded electrical appliances even without buying a new appliance in the store. Take-back concepts are the key to success – and protect retailers from penalties!
The new rules and regulations are currently only partially implemented. In addition to the lack of take-back concepts, there is a lack of clearly visible and legible written and pictorial signs in the direct visual range of the main customer flow or in their presentation media (e.g. website) or with the consignment of goods informing about take-back obligations and return options. In addition, all collection and return points in the retail sector and in the municipalities should have a uniform collection point logo. (Source: Umweltbundesamt).
Supermarkets and what happens next?
German environmental aid is not satisfied with concepts submitted so far. “We are particularly dissatisfied with the responses from Edeka and Netto Nord. They have told us that a return can only be guaranteed for stores with more than 800 square meters of total sales area. From a purely legal point of view, this may be correct, but if e-waste can be handed in at one store and not at another, this creates uncertainty among consumers. (…)”, says DUH Head of Circular Economy Thomas Fischer.
What happens to the old appliances? In this regard, the concepts presented in the DUH survey are also completely inadequate: “Although up to 15 percent of the collected electrical appliances are to be recycled, none of the companies has planned an appropriate separation of the appliances. This means that large quantities of functioning or repairable electrical appliances are being destroyed. The planned specifications for recycling are also insufficient at the vast majority of companies surveyed, because compliance with common disposal standards is not ensured.” (Source: Recyclingportal)
Test visits for supermarkets announced
The German Environmental Aid announces test visits. If DUH detects violations or a lack of concepts, then legal steps are to be taken, according to Federal Managing Director Babara Metz. Already now the past conversion is estimated as insufficient. According to Metz, the fewest concepts that have been presented so far correspond to a consumer-friendly take-back. Rather, stressful, unpleasant situations arise for consumers during the return process, and a lack of signs or information leads to uncertainty among customers.
This does not reflect well on the supermarket chains. A good, professional and transparent concept, on the other hand, offers the opportunity to stand out from the competition and strengthen a positive, green image. In addition, supermarkets will only fulfill their responsibility for the correct disposal of old appliances if this is implemented uniformly.
If you want to know more information about the take-back obligation or our take-back concepts, contact us and let our experts advise you.” E-waste recycling and management is our hobbyhorse. Our mission is to combine social responsibility with economic success and environmental awareness. All important answers and info can also always be found on all our social media channels.
More information on the topic of “Gogreen” and why the disposal and recycling of electronic waste in particular is so important for advancing environmental protection, you can find here.