What to do with a broken toaster? In the supermarket! | Free press

Just hand over your old electrical appliances at the supermarket, no matter where they were bought – and should that work? Yes, says retail, the stores are prepared. However, the devices must not be too large.


From July 1, consumers in Germany will find it much easier to dispose of used electronic devices properly.

Because then supermarkets and discounters will also have to accept discarded kettles, shavers or smartphones – regardless of whether they were bought from them or not. You can then save yourself going to the municipal recycling center, which is often located on the outskirts of the city, or to the electronics market in the city center.

Thanks to the new regulations, there will be 25,000 additional return points for old electrical equipment in Germany from Friday, stressed the Federal Environment Agency. “You can now return your old electronics when you go shopping for the week,” said UBA president Dirk Messner. This facilitates disposal thanks to better accessibility and longer opening hours.

The supermarkets are prepared

“Retail is armed and prepared at home. Everyone will start with the return systems on July 1 and give customers the opportunity to return their old electronic devices as easily as possible, ”said the Managing Director of Germany. Retail Association (HDE), which is responsible for sustainable development., Antje Gerstein, shortly ahead of schedule.

In a study by the German Press Agency, large German food retailers also signaled their desire to start their business. The largest German grocery store, Edeka, promises: “From July 1, 2022, our customers can return electrical appliances in our stores.” And a competitor of Rewe even revealed what it should look like in his stores: “You just report to the cash register and then it will check if it is worth taking the device back”. The devices would then be disposed of properly. The same is true of Netto and Penny, the discount subsidiaries of two retail giants, according to the information.

Aldi also promises “simple and uncomplicated return of old electrical and electronic equipment” in all markets in Germany, as does Lidl. There, customers should return their old devices at the checkout. “This is in line with the customer’s practice of replacing or returning goods under our warranty program,” emphasized the company.

The background is the new regulation of the act on electrical and electronic equipment. From 1 July, it will also commit to supermarkets and discounters with a sales area of ​​over 800 sq m. for the collection of old electrical equipment if they sell electrical and electronic equipment several times a year or on a permanent basis. To meet these requirements, electric toothbrushes are now available.

In concrete terms, in the future, retailers will have to accept old appliances up to 25 centimeters in edge length – such as some kettles, razors and smartphones – without even buying a new appliance. However, the take-back obligation is limited to three devices per device type. For larger devices, such as computers or televisions, the obligation to return them only applies if you buy a new device of the same type.

The rate of return should be increased

For waste expert Rolf Buschmann from Bund Umwelt und Naturschutz Deutschland (BUND), the new regulation is a step in the right direction despite such restrictions. “This is an additional simplification for consumers,” he says. It is important. Because: “Especially when it comes to electrical appliances, the payback has been really moderate so far.”

In fact, according to the Federal Environment Agency, the 65 percent collection rate required by the EU in Germany has recently been clearly overlooked: only 44.3 percent has been reached. According to the industry, not much will change in 2020 either. “That’s why we need much more delivery options in retail,” says expert BUND Buschmann.

Retail, of course, sees otherwise. “The additional trade burden caused by the return of old equipment is significant for many retailers,” complained HDE Managing Director Gerstein. Often, especially in urban locations, only small warehouse spaces are available anyway. “If they now also have to be used to store old electronic devices, it will be cramped in many places.” (dpa)

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