A few days ago, in an interview with the waste management association BVSE the Federal Ministry for the Environment (BMU) outlined the planned amendments to the ElektroG3. Are far-reaching changes possibly imminent for the entire retail sector (stationary AND online)? This can certainly be assumed after this interview. Dr Regina Dube from the BMU emphasizes in the interview that the measures to achieve the collection rate must be intensified. From our point of view, three momentous points for the retail trade can be identified from her statements:
- In future, more retailers than ever before will be impacted by the e-waste take-back obligation – possibly irrespective of the proportion of their pure sales or dispatch or storage space for electrical appliances. Especially discounters, but also other retailers on the outskirts of cities are likely to be affected.
- Stricter obligations should be imposed on online dealers to inform consumers about their return options.
- The obligation to take back electronic waste will continue to be directly related to the dealers’ floor space available for sales, dispatch or storage, which already amounts to 400 square metres. However, this may not be the end of the story - because industry experts expect the new square metre limit to be significantly lower than in the past – which is what environmental organisations have demanded for years now.
We recommend that you take the forthcoming changes seriously and, as a potentially affected party, inform yourself in good time about your obligations. “Even now, dealers with over 400 square meters’ sales floor space for electrical appliances seem to be ignoring the existing take-back obligation lightly at many locations. Possible consequences of an infringement are underestimated,” said our take-back expert Wolfgang Obermeyer after talking to numerous customers.
Just how serious the consequences of an admonition can be is illustrated by this highly topical case. “After all, our existing nationwide take-e-back system is easier, less bureaucratic and far less cost-intensive than customers initially feared in fulfilling their return obligation,” Obermeyer added.