Recolight is more that just a WEEE Compliance Scheme. We act as an enabler and influencer; challenging and supporting the Lighting Industry to be more sustainable.

Lighting & the Circular Economy

Transformation to a circular economy is increasingly being seen as an essential requirement for manufacturing businesses. This will become ever more important as demand for resources rises, and energy costs increase.

Recolight regularly runs circular economy webinars to bring together experts from across the lighting industry. Free to all, they cover legislation for the circular economy, product design, and support the industry to be more sustainable.

Recolight are encouraged to see the lighting industry taking steps to become more sustainable. It is a given that we produce light sources that are very energy efficient. Moving beyond that and adopting circular economy principles in how we manufacture those products will soon be a must do, and not just an “ought to do”.

Register for webinars and watch replays
Circular Economy of Lighting

Lighting and sustainability

Lighting has done a lot to promote sustainability. LED products have much longer lifetimes, far greater system efficacies, are more flexible and controllable, and vitally do not contain mercury.

Lamp recycling rates in the UK have grown faster than any other waste electrical equipment category, from 19% in 2008, to 43.1% in 2020. The lighting industry is unique in taking such an effective, sector specific approach to waste and recycling. With electrical contractors, wholesalers and manufacturers  working together, the Industry can be justifiably proud of its recycling record, and this additional contribution to sustainability.

Protecting the environment

The disposal of end-of-life equipment should be an integral part of LED luminaire projects, not just for legislative compliance, but also to meet the sustainability and corporate social responsibility requirements.

The best way to increase non-household recycling rates is for specifiers to insist, when purchasing new luminaires, that producers always take responsibility for the collection and recycling of the waste luminaires that arise.

But specifiers and end users want to know more than just how the lighting will be recycled. They are increasingly ask producers for the percentage of components and complete fittings:

  • that can be recycled,
  • of virgin raw material used in the manufacture,
  • of recycled material used in the manufacture.
Lighting and sustainability

Net zero carbon commitment

Recolight have committed to be net zero carbon by 2030. We aim to reach this ambitious goal by addressing logistical, recycling and other operational activities, without using carbon offsets.

Recolight is the first WEEE scheme to make this commitment.

An independent environmental contractor has assessed our baseline carbon footprint, and we will then monitor our progress towards our target on an annual basis.

There will be challenges in reaching this goal, but Recolight are totally committed to the process and the outcome.

Recolight have committed to be net zero carbon by 2030.

Extending the life of Luminaires

The need to no longer see luminaires as a single life product has been widely discussed in the Recolight Webinar series. At Recolight, we recycle, but as we move towards a Circular Economy model, recycling is not always the best solution.

Recolight is under a legal obligation to prioritise re-use over recycling, so we need to facilitate and encourage re-use.

Recolight has identified two opportunities for the lighting industry which will help to fulfil the obligation of:

  • Avoiding waste
  • Reducing recycling
  • Stimulating reuse
  • Responding to the climate emergency.
Extending the life of Luminaires

Recolight’s Re-use Services for lighting

Used lighting

The re-use/re-manufacture of used lighting

Recolight collects more than 1000 tonnes of light fittings each year. Many are fluorescent fittings, some LED fittings, and many are collected from large scale projects. Large numbers of identical fittings are removed.

Currently, virtually none are re-used, although some are in very good condition before removal.
Much of the value is destroyed by recycling.

Surplus new lighting

Putting unsold new lighting equipment into service

Many manufacturers hold unsold stock which takes up valuable warehouse space and the decision to discard is often made at short notice. The aim of the service is to avoid unnecessary recycling and waste.

Recolight want to make it as easy as possible for a manufacturer (donor) to hand over new lighting equipment that they will no longer offer for sale. This could be ex-demonstration stock, unsold stock, or returned stock in “as new” condition. It also needs to be as easy as possible for a third-party company (recipient) to receive that product so that it can be offered for sale, or otherwise put into service.

Learn more about the Recolight Re-use Services