The eternal battle against electric waste

More than 57 million tons of e-scrap worldwide

According to estimates by the WEEE Forum, more than 57 million tons of e-waste will be generated worldwide by the end of 2021. This is equivalent to 5,700 times the weight of the Eiffel Tower or the entire Great Wall of China. This upward trend is attributed to the overall increase in consumption of electrical devices, shortened product life cycles and limited repair options. However, there is also a lack of education among the population.

Raising awareness among consumers

October 14 is International E-Waste Day – a day of action to raise awareness of the urgent need to properly dispose of old appliances.

Far too many people hoard their discarded devices at home. In an average European household, 11 out of 72 electronic devices are no longer in use or broken. This means that four to five kilograms of unused material are generated per person every year, which is simply not recycled. Collection in particular plays a key role in the battle against e-waste. Only what is returned can be recycled.

Holding manufacturers accountable

To make the electrical and electronics sector more circular and efficient in saving resources, manufacturers and retailers should extend responsibility for the equipment they put on the market to the entire product life cycle. Starting with the design phase, taking into account better reparability and replaceability, through legally compliant pre-market registration and the deposit of an insolvency-proof guarantee, up to take-back and proper recycling.

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Source: WEEE Forum

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