Since July 1 of last year, consumers have been able to return old small electrical appliances to most supermarkets and discounter branches. But even a year later, this option is only rarely used, according to a survey by the German Press Agency among the large retail chains.
Germany's largest grocer, Edeka, reported that the return option was "used rather sporadically". The competitor Rewe, which also owns the Penny discount chain, said: "So far, little use has been made of the offer in our stores."
Demand varies by store location
The discounter Lidl announced that the offer was only "reluctantly accepted". And Aldi Nord also said that the option would "only be used in moderation". Only Kaufland reported that customers have "so far been happy to accept the opportunity to return electronic devices". The discounter Netto, which belongs to the Edeka Group, announced that the demand for the return option varies depending on the branch location.
Actually, the new regulation introduced last summer should make the disposal of disused mobile phones, razors and similar small devices in Germany much easier. "You can now return old electrical appliances when you go shopping for the week," enthused the President of the Federal Environment Agency, Dirk Messner. As a result of the new regulation, there will be 25,000 additional return points for old electrical equipment in Germany in one fell swoop.
Mandatory offer for a year
Since July 1, 2022, the new regulation of the Electrical and Electronic Equipment Act has also obligated supermarkets, discounters and drugstores with a sales area of more than 800 square meters to take back old electrical equipment with an edge length of up to 25 centimeters if they sell electrical and electronic equipment several times a year or permanently . In order to meet these requirements, electric toothbrushes are already on offer.