What is the DTS?
DTS is the Distributor Take-Back Scheme, there is only one in the country available for most electrical retailers and this is run by Valpak’s WEEE Retail Services. As a distributor of EEE (Electrical and Electronic Equipment) retailers supplying direct to the household consumer or dual-use equipment to businesses would be obligated to take back their customers WEEE (Waste of Electrical and Electronic Equipment) on a one-for-one, like-for-like basis. Alternatively, distributors can choose to opt out of this obligation by joining the DTS and therefore not being required to take back the WEEE from customers. The consumer would be expected to dispose of this in their own way, by being directed to a local household waste recycling centre. In return money raised from DTS members funds local authority projects which are aimed at increasing the amount WEEE that gets collected for recycling or reuse.
What is the current status of the DTS?
The DTS is in phase 5 of the scheme. Phase 5 allows larger retailers with at least one physical store and an EEE turnover of over £100,000 to join until 31 December 2020. From 1 January 2021 the Government has decided that these retailers cannot continue to be members of the DTS and so they must start taking back their customers WEEE themselves. Despite the current circumstances around Covid-19 this deadline for the larger retailers is understood to be likely to stay in place but the DTS is in communication with Defra & Office for Product Safety & Standard (OPS&S) and will update all affected retailers if this were to change.
Smaller retailers with an EEE turnover of less than £100,000 and larger online/distance seller retailers can be members of the DTS until 31 December 2021 which will require them to start offering their own WEEE take back from 1 January 2022. At the moment it seems unlikely that there will be another phase of DTS given that the WEEE regulations are due to come under review.
The OPS&S have agreed that retailers have until 30 June 2020 to join up to phase 5 of the DTS. After this point distributors which have not joined the DTS will be expected to have their own WEEE take-back arrangements set up and in place.
Life after DTS?
Once phase 5 of the DTS is over, retailers must then offer a take-back service of their own on a one-for-one, like-for-like basis. Under the current regulations this would mean that a consumer can take back their WEEE to any store providing they have purchased a similar item. For online retailers it would likely be that they would have to allow customers to send their unwanted WEEE items back to the retailer or their nominated agent.
If you would like assistance or clarification with DTS and what it means for your company, our team would be happy to help, contact us on DTS@valpak.co.uk