Fears rise over impact of WEEE Directive on price of electricals

Fears are mounting that the price of electrical goods will rise following the implementation of recycling provisions in the WEEE Directive.

The Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) is reviewing the EC's framework proposals and must set down UK guidelines for implementation on August 13 next year.

The EC has estimated that the collective cost across the EU will be between EUR500 million (£328.6 million) and EUR900 million (£591.5 million), and producers will have to stump up the cost.

JP Morgan research suggests that retail prices of electrical goods will have to rise because of the extra costs for retailers and manufacturers.

The banker also suggests that the cost could be up to 5 per cent of the retail price for difficult-to-recycle products, such as fridges.

'For electronic products such as audio and video equipment, small household appliances or medical equipment, where recycling is relatively easy or the purchase price is high in relation to the size of the product, we expect the recycling costs to be below 1 per cent, and therefore marginal,' said JP Morgan.

'However, for large household appliances, costs could represent 2 to 3 per cent, in the case of refrigerators 5 per cent, of the retail price.

A Dixons spokeswoman said the final outcome of the Defra review was as yet uncertain.