International E-Waste Day

Today, October 14, is International E-Waste Day – a day first developed in 2018 to raise awareness of electronic waste (e-waste) recycling and encourage people to recycle their e-waste.

Why e-waste?

Many millions of tonnes of e-waste are sent to landfill annually. This needs to change.

In 2019, the world generated 53.6 million tonnes of e-waste. It is estimated that by 2030, the amount of e-waste created will reach 74 million tonnes. Only 17.4 per cent of e-waste in 2019 was collected and recycled. This means that 44.3 million tonnes was either placed in landfill, burned, or illegally traded and treated in a sub-standard way – despite 71 per cent of the world’s population being covered by e-waste legislation.

This huge loss of e-waste from the system means the loss of valuable raw materials from the supply chain and causes serious health, environmental, and societal issues through illegal shipments of waste to developing countries.

Europe leads the world in e-waste recycling – but even in Europe, on 42.5 per cent of e-waste is officially reported as collected and recycled and the lack of public awareness is preventing countries from developing circular economies for electronic equipment.

What happens on International E-Waste Day?

International E-Waste Day aims to increase public awareness of e-waste and promote e-waste recycling.

In the past, activities have included:

  • Conferences and events
  • School collection days
  • Information campaigns in stores and recycling centres
  • On-line guide for proper e-waste disposal
  • Circular economy games for schools
  • Social media competitions
  • And many more!

This year, the theme is education. By making the younger audience aware of e-waste issues, not only will the new generation grow up responsible consumers, but the message will also be heard by their families, teachers, and local communities.

 

We all have a responsibility to dispose of our waste thoughtfully. Today, will you:

  • Find out where you can drop off your e-waste?
  • Prevent some old electronics from going in the rubbish bin?
  • Tell someone about the e-waste problem?

What are you going to do, this International E-Waste Day?

 

Information taken from WEEE Forum.

Read about what we can do, and what the government can do, to achieve a circular economy, and find some FAQs answered, on our blog.

 

Article by Tallis Baker

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