As reported by the Federal Environment Agency, as of 1 July 2022, traders in foodstuffs with a total sales floor space of at least 800 square metres who offer electrical and electronic equipment several times a calendar year or permanently and make it available on the market must now also take back waste electrical and electronic equipment free of charge. This applies to most of the food trade in Germany and concerns e.g. supermarkets, food discounters and – according to the Federal Environment Agency – apparently also drugstores.
The extension of the take-back obligation for WEEE to include distributors of food is one of the main measures from the package of the amendment to the Electrical and Electronice Equipment Act, which took effect on 1 January 2022, to improve the collection of WEEE and increase the collection volume.
The rule is that Small appliances with an edge length of less than or equal to 25 centimetres (e.g. razors, watches, telephones and smartphones, remote controls, toasters, PC mouse devices) can be returned by consumers even if they do not buy a new appliance at the same time; old appliances with an edge length of more than 25 centimetres (e.g. washing machines, televisions, electric lawnmowers), on the other hand, must be taken back by the dealer only if a new appliance of the same type is purchased. The return must be possible either directly in the retail shop or in the immediate vicinity. The same take-back and return regulation continues to apply as before to distributors with a sales floor space for electrical and electronic equipment of at least 400 square metres.
In addition to the classic supermarkets and discounters, all other dealers are also considered food traders, as long as they fulfil the corresponding requirements (food is predominantly offered and the criteria of minimum sales floor space are met). Retail businesses that, for example, only offer seasonal food such as sweets in the checkout area are not covered by the take-back obligation.
In order to easily identify the WEEE take-back points, the new legal regulation requires retailers to provide information on take-back obligations and return options by means of clearly visible and legible written and pictorial signs in the immediate visual range of the main customer flow or in their presentation media (e.g. website) or with the consignment of goods. In addition, all collection and take-back points in the retail sector and in the municipalities are to be labelled with a uniform collection point logo.
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If you would like to take back waste equipment or are legally obliged to do so, Magdalena Barylska from take-e-way will be glad to assist you. Please call +49/40/750687-125 or send an e-mail message to email@example.com.