Saving the planet and being eco friendly is very much a trend nowadays. However, there is still not enough people following this in trend and taking it seriously. Recycling and being more “green fingered” has been around a while now and is so easy to maintain. So, you would have thought everyone would be sticking to it right? That is unfortunately not the case.
Technology is ever-evolving, therefore more people are upgrading technical products daily and just throwing them in the trash. However, as technology is evolving so are the systems we have in place for recycling these products properly and in the correct manner. There are plenty of environmentally friendly ways to dispose of e-waste without increasing pollution and problems for our planet.
As amazing as technology is and how it helps every single one of us in our everyday life, it also is very damaging to our planet when it is disposed of incorrectly. E-waste should not be treated like any other waste and be tossed into landfills. This is because many old electrical items contain toxic substances, which means if the substance creeps into the soil, it will pollute the ground water as well as the air we breathe.
Ways to dispose of E-Waste
- Give your old items back to the electrical company you bought them from
- Donate your electrical items to charities/hospices
- Sell off your outdated technology
- Give your electrical waste to a certified e-waste recycler
Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment recycling (WEEE)
Every year an estimated 2 million tonnes of WEEE items are discarded by householders and companies in the UK. WEEE includes most products that have a plug or need a battery. This includes items such as household appliances, electronic tools, lighting equipment and the biggest factor being IT and telecommunications equipment. (1)
The WEEE Regulations key objective is to reduce the amount of WEEE that goes to landfills. This is achieved by placing an extended responsibility on producers and distributors of electrical and electronic equipment. Therefore, manufacturers are now required to finance the collection, treatment, and recovery of WEEE. (2)
Having this system in place and all the different ways you can dispose of equipment (as I have mentioned above) means there is no excuse to not recycle your unwanted electrical equipment legally.
We must be doing something right, as of 2019 Europe had the highest collection and recycling rate, covering about 42.5% of the total e-waste generated in 2019. But we can still do more if we really try!
Thankfully, the world is slowly waking up to the scale of this problem. Research found at the end of 2019, 78 countries, covering 71% of the world’s population, either had a policy for managing e-waste or were putting regulation in place this is an increase of 5% from 2017. Despite that, many countries still have no legal restrictions on this topic and correct e-waste disposal is still not enforced. (3)
At panda we recycle all our electrical waste legally and safely, however we try reuse certain equipment where we can, however this is not always possible. We have a collection company that takes away our unwanted items which is then either given to charity or is taken to an e-waste recycling centre.