Instead, the Government has favoured the British Retail Consortium's (BRC) plans, first unveiled last May, to establish designated collection facilities at existing civic amenity sites.
The Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) implementation plan revealed today follows an EU directive on WEEE issued two years ago requiring member countries to slash the volume of electricals goods being dumped on landfill sites, which leak hazardous polluting components into the ground.
The BRC said that in-store returns were never a viable option because of insufficient shop space and health and safety implications. It added that retailers would need to use lorries to transport the out-of-use equipment, putting more traffic on the road and harming the environment further.
BRC director-general Kevin Hawkins said: 'Retailers are pleased the Government is taking the time to try and get this right, but have also been frustrated by a number of false starts. They are glad to have some new certainty.'
The WEEE directive will come into effect on July 1 next year.