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Southport Reporter® covering the news on Merseyside.

Date:- 19 March 2007

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EU... How does it affect us?

LAST week we started to look at the Europe and the European Parliament and how it affects us.  This week we look at the WEEE legislation.

Are you WEEE complainant¿

DO you own a business? Do you know what WEEE is? Research from DHL suggests that as few as 30% of  businesses affected by the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) directive have meet the deadline 15 March 2007, when all obligated companies should be registered with a Producer Compliance Scheme.

DHL’s head of WEEE services, Paul James, has branded awareness levels of the new legislation as “depressingly low”, especially among small and medium sized businesses, with up to a quarter of affected companies not even being aware of the new regime. The WEEE legislation aims to ensure that redundant electrical or electronic goods are disposed of responsibly.

Research from DHL’s recently approved WEEE compliance scheme indicates that as many as 10,000 smaller UK brand owners and importers of electrical equipment are not prepared for this new burden on their business.

Paul James, head of WEEE services at DHL, said:- “Before launching our own publicity campaign on the WEEE legislation, we undertook research among smaller businesses in the UK. We were shocked by the low levels of awareness and understanding about this important new legislation that became UK law in January this year.

Using independent agencies to undertake research into current awareness levels of the new law, we found that while most larger retailers, electrical equipment manufacturers and importers were generally well aware of the issue and progressing towards compliance, many small and medium sized importers and manufacturers of branded goods were largely in the dark over the WEEE regulations.

Nearly 20% of companies we spoke to either didn’t know if they needed to register with a compliance scheme or admitted that they would miss the deadline.”

From 2007, the regulations require that producers provide for the collection and recycling of redundant electrical equipment. The responsibility of compliance will lie largely with retailers,  importers, manufacturers or brand owners.

Paul James continued:- “While many larger brand owners and importers are working towards compliance, many businesses run the risk of being left behind or facing fines simply due to ignorance. If these businesses do not act now, they could find themselves at a competitive disadvantage when the legislation comes fully into force and risk heavy recycling bills, or even prosecution, for non-compliance.”

Under the legislation, all retailers of electrical goods will be required to provide a free ‘take-back’ service to non-business customers who purchase a new electrical product. The customer would either bring their old product to the store when they buy a like item or, in the case of deliveries, the retailer may be expected to collect the old appliance from the customer’s house. The retailer will be responsible for covering this cost as well as delivering the WEEE to a designated collection point, the next stage in the logistical chain, to be recycled in accordance with the new regulations. Alternatively, retailers can contribute towards the funding of local authority collection infrastructure to which they can then direct their customers.

Companies who manufacture or ‘produce’ electrical or electronic products will be required to meet the costs of collection of WEEE from local authority sites as well as the treatment, recovery and environmentally sound disposal of WEEE in accordance with the Regulations. This involves correctly documenting the type of WEEE, storing and handling it correctly, contracting and managing appropriate recyclers and providing an auditable trail to the Environment Agency to prove that the old products have been recycled in accordance with the regulations.

To see the EC WEEE information site click HERE.


UK airports handled 235 million passengers in 2006, an increase of nearly 3 per cent on 2005, according to figures published today by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA).

Passenger traffic at the five main London airports - Heathrow, Gatwick, Stansted, Luton and London City - grew by 2 per cent to 137 million passengers. The biggest increases were at Stansted, up by 1.7 million, and Gatwick, up by 1.4 million. London City Airport saw an increase of 0.4 million, a rise of 18 per cent. At Southend Airport, passenger numbers increased by 489 per cent to 30,000, due to an increase of 25,000 charter passengers.

Traffic at the UK's regional airports grew by 4 per cent to a total of 98 million passengers. Among the ten largest regional airports, the fastest growing were Liverpool, up by 13 per cent, 0.6 million more passengers, and Nottingham East Midlands, up by 13 per cent, 0.5 million more passengers.  Manchester Airport continued to handle the most passengers outside London, 22 million in the year.

Air transport movements (landings and take-offs of commercial aircraft) at UK airports grew by 2 per cent from 2005 to a total of 2.4 million. At the UK's regional airports air transport movements reached a total of 1.4 million, an increase of 1 per cent on 2005. At the London airports there were over one million movements, with a 3 per cent increase on 2005. The biggest increases were at Stansted, up by 12,000 (7 per cent), London City up by 7,600 (12 per cent) and Aberdeen, up by 8,600 (9 per cent).

London and regional airports

Over the last ten years passenger numbers at regional airports have doubled from 48 million in 1996 to 98 million in 2006. Over the same period, traffic at the London airports has grown from 88 million passengers in 1996 to 137 million in 2006.

Routes and destinations

In 2006, passengers at UK airports were predominantly bound for, or arriving from, destinations in Europe. The number of flights to or from Europe totalled 134 million, an increase of 5 million (4 per cent) on 2005. The largest growth was on routes to Poland, up by 1.5 million passengers (an increase  of 80 per cent), Ireland, up by 0.6 million (5 per cent) and Germany, up by 0.6 million (5 per cent).

The next most popular destinations were other UK airports and North America. There were 26 million passengers on UK domestic flights, down by 1 per cent (0.2 million) on 2005, and 22 million North America passengers, down by 1 per cent (0.2 million).

The total number of passengers from UK airports to all other destinations in the world was 29 million, an increase of 10 per cent (3 million) on 2005. The largest passenger growth was seen on routes to the Indian subcontinent, up by 0.8 million (30 per cent), North Africa, up by 0.7 million (25 per cent), and the Middle East, up by 0.5 million (13 per cent).

Passenger Numbers by Nationality of Carrier

The total number of passengers carried from UK airports by non-UK EU airlines was 58 million in 2006,
up by 8 per cent from 2005's total of 53 million. This compares with the 148 million passengers carried by UK airlines, up 2 million since 2005; and the 30 million passengers carried by non-EU airlines, up by 1 million.

The proportion of passengers at UK airports flying on UK scheduled airlines fell slightly, but remained above 50 per cent for the second consecutive year, with an increase of 2 million passengers on 2005. This contrasts with the proportion of passengers at UK airports flying on UK charter carriers which, at 13 per cent in 2006, continued to fall. Passenger numbers on UK charter airlines decreased by 2 per cent or 0.5 million on 2005.

Freight and Mail

The total tonnage of freight and mail carried from UK airports in 2006 was 2.5 million tonnes, a decrease of 3 per cent on 2005. The London airports saw an overall decrease of 4 per cent, with Heathrow down 46,700 tonnes (3 per cent), Gatwick down 12,200 tonnes (5 per cent) and Stansted down 12,700 tonnes (5 per cent). The regional airports partially offset this with a small overall increase of 6,500 tonnes. However, there was a mix of movements across the regions, the biggest changes being at Kent International, which reopened in the year and saw tonnage increase by 13,200 (174 per cent). Nottingham East Midlands also saw an increase of 6,100 tonnes (2 per cent). However, there were various decreases, the main one being at Liverpool, of 4,900 tonnes (33 per cent).

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