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Waste Electrical And Electronic Equipment

Volume 407: debated on Monday 23 June 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if she will make a statement on the prospects for the remanufacture of laser and inkjet printer cartridges industry, with special reference to changes in European law. [121014]

Contrary to some recent newspaper reporting, there have been no changes in European law aimed at this sector. Data provided by the refill and remanufacture industry suggest there are over 100 refill business in the UK and that business is growing.

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry (1) what plans she has to prevent manufacturers from inhibiting recycling of computer parts, with particular reference to ink and toner cartridges; [120965](2) what plans she has to re-classify ink and toner printer cartridges as printer parts; [120966](3) what action she proposes to take to support the EU Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Directive concerning the recycling of computer parts, including ink and toner cartridges; and if she will make a statement. [120967]

The Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) Directive must be transposed into UK law by summer 2004. This will require higher treatment standards and greater recycling levels to be achieved from the summer of 2005. Computers, printers and a wide range of other products fall within the scope.The UK considers ink and toner printer cartridges to be consumables for the purposes of the WEEE Directive, as does the European Commission. The Directive's recovery requirements therefore only apply to these goods when discarded as part of a printer.Contrary to some recent newspaper reports, the WEEE Directive in no-way prevents the refilling and recycling of ink and toner cartridges which the Government are keen to see continue.