Free Riders and impact on EPR model to be discussed at The International Stewardship Forum in Paris

The international Stewardship Forum in Paris on 2 & 3 July is an event focused on Extended Producer Responsibility. This year it will look at the collective commitment to reduce the resources we consume, return materials to the circular economy, and minimize our impact on the environment, all while rejuvenating the local and international economies.

Included in the agenda is a session on Free Riders and the impact on EPR model.

This will be delivered by:

Marc Guiraud, EucoLight 

Peter Börkey, OECD

Pascal Leroy, WEEE Forum

Joaquim Quoden, EXPRA

Recolight has been highlighting the scale of the problem for several years. Working with EucoLight, OECD, WEEE Forum and EXPRA our message is now getting through. The International Stewardship Forum will help bring the issue to a global audience.

Recolight showed that 76% of all LED lamps available for sale on one marketplace were not compliant with WEEE regulations in the UK (2)Free riding and why we need action

Free riding is an issue of growing concern that involves sellers operating through online marketplaces and fulfillment houses that fail to meet their extended producer responsibility obligations.  As a result, they can avoid the costs of e-waste treatment and recycling. Online free riders undermine the EPR schemes and destroy honest companies’ competitiveness.

The scale of non-compliant product sold through online marketplaces and fulfillment houses is now huge.  Recolight showed that 76% of all LED light bulbs available for sale on one marketplace were not compliant with WEEE regulations in the UK.  Senior staff in online marketplaces have been advised of the problem, and yet we cannot see any material change in the compliance status of product sold through their sites.

A legislative solution is required.  Under Extended Producer Responsibility legislation, online marketplaces and fulfillment houses should have the same obligations as “producers” in respect of all product for which they facilitate the import into a national territory.


Nigel Harvey

Nigel is Recolight's CEO, joining Recolight as Chief Executive and Company Secretary in 2009. Nigel has published over 40 articles on WEEE and lighting over the last four years. He was voted Lux Magazine Person of the year in 2012 and has been named as one the UK’s 100 most influential people in the waste/resources industry for the last three years.