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100% ‘WEEE’ Compliant

The WEEE Directive

The WEEE Directive (Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment) is a set of compliances setup in 2007 and regulated by the EU. Whilst Brexit looms with the uncertainty of whether the UK will leave the EU with or without a deal, it has already been confirmed in 2017 that existing EU environmental laws will remain in place post Brexit. This includes the WEEE Directive.

What does the WEEE Directive Regulations mean from a consumer perspective?

The WEEE directive is a set of compliance regulations designed to ensure that electrical products supplied within the EU can be recycled and that they are. These sets of government rules are applicable to both the product manufacturer and the retailer. It is the manufacturer’s responsibility to produce electrical products using materials that are recyclable. It is the retailer’s responsibility to provide the consumer a means of recycling the products after they have reached their life cycle. 

Sounds Simple Enough?

Unfortunately, whilst it is found that most leading electrical product brands comply with the WEEE Directive standards, there is still an abundance of products on the UK market that do not. Following research studies by Recolight (SELS’s recycling partner), The UK Trade Association and the OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) it has been identified that many electrical lamps available via leading online selling platforms such as eBay and Amazon do not comply with The WEEE Directive.

The scope of non-compliance

The study undertaken by Recolight found that 76% of LED Lamps available in the first 120 search results on one of the world’s most popular online marketplaces were non-compliant with the WEEE directive regulations. 81% of those 76% were from manufacturers based in the Far East, most notably in China. Indeed, outside of Europe and the jurisdiction of the UK and EU enforcement bodies. Furthermore, these products were either non-branded, or products of brands that again are registered outside the EU. 70% of the identified 76% non-compliant LED Lamps were available on a next day delivery.

What are the consumer risks?  

Electrical products that do not comply with the WEEE directive pose issues to the environment in terms of their non-recyclability and high carbon footprint. They can also cause consumers more potential hazardous eventualities relating to health and safety, and reliability. Whilst LED lamps that are non-compliant with the WEEE Directive may be sold at a very low costs, it is important to realise that there is a reason for this and why they do not comply with the WEEE Directive. Generally this is because they are produced using materials of lower quality, assembled badly and tested negligibly. 

BBC Fake Britain

In 2017 the BBC’s Fake Britain Program reported a consignment of a thousand dangerous LED Lamps that had been seized at port. They had below par insulation and exposed live elements. During testing the LED Lamps recorded 179V and 91mA, much higher than the maximum 60V and 2mA allowed by EU health safety standards. Whilst carrying fake CE markings, these products posed a serious threat to life. Equally, they would not be able to deliver the level of reliability expected from a WEEE compliant lamp, offering a lower life-span and begging the question about their lower retail cost.

The Consumer Protection Charity 

The consumer protection charity Electrical Safety First have also identified that one in three UK residents (approximately 18 million people) have mistakenly purchased a counterfeit electrical item via leading online marketplaces. These people were led to believe that the product they were buying was genuine, only to discover a fake item delivered to their homes, posing a potential risk of electric shock or fire.

You only have to dig a little on the internet to understand the risks involved in buying low cost Lamps and other electrical products via reputable online marketplaces. The questions are – Will you really save money in the long term? What are the health & safety risks and what are the impacts to the environment?

The SELS approach to Health & Safety and WEEE Compliance. 

All our Lamps and Lighting Products at SELS are fully WEEE compliant and from industry leading brands such as Crompton, Sylvania, Kosnic, Philips, GE Lighting, KSR, Tridonic, Tungsram and Aurora. By working with the very best manufacturers we are able to not only make sure that our products meet UK Health & Safety regulations and Environmental laws, but also that the products we supply have a long life expectancy and a quality warranty.

When it comes to offering competitive pricing and a quick delivery, we keep it simple.

By stocking large quantities of over one thousand different product lines we are able to negotiate marketing leading prices with our manufacturing partners, a benefit we then pass onto our customers. As for a speedy delivery, by having our extensive range in-stock we can offer next-day and even local same-day deliveries as standard. From an environmental perspective we have a very conscientious approach, promoting our FREE Recycling Service as one of our unique selling points. Not only are our customers able to drop off their old lamps, bulbs and fluorescent tubes for recycling, but we are also happy to collect them from you when delivering your new ones. 

Lots To Consider

Next time you’re about to purchase lamps, or any electrical product via an online marketplace – we recommend you don’t just consider the price. Think about the safety of yourself and the people around you, consider the theory of ‘buy cheap – pay twice’ and imagine the impacts your purchase will have on the environment. We only have one world and it’s now more important than ever that we all take proactive steps to care for it. That’s the essence of the WEEE Directive.

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At SELS we are committed to helping you with your lighting requirements, however big or small. We have a vast range of products available from stock at highly competitive prices and associated services designed to support you and the environment.

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