From 1 January 2021 more than 10,000 UK stores (those with a turnover in sales of electrical equipment in excess of £100,000) will be required, on a like for like basis, to accept your old electrical items in exchange. This means for example if you purchase a new kettle they will be required to accept your old kettle in exchange (brand and cost of the old/new item are not relevant as long as you are exchanging like for like).
This service must be free of charge in-store although costs of transport can be applied for items collected at a point of home delivery.
Your receipt is considered as proof of purchase and you will have 28 days to be able to return your equivalent item.
Larger retailers with greater than 400m2 of floor space will also be required to accept any very small Weee items regardless of purchase. “Very small” is defined as a waste electrical item where it’s dimensions in any direction are less than 25cm. For example, the retailer will be required to accept mobile phones, lightbulbs etc regardless of whether you have purchased anything.
All eligible retailers will also be required to offer information on their take back service to customers at the point of sale and some may offer to take back more than the minimum requirements.
It is up to the retailer where they collect the old items (eg at the till or a specific collection desk etc) and some larger goods may only be able to be returned to specific stores.
Please note: On-line only retailers will be exempt from this until 2022.