The theme for this years Recycle Week is “Thanking the Nation”, to show appreciation for those who have continued to recycle during the coronavirus, and the key workers who have enabled them to do so.
Despite the challenges 2020 has delivered, in the UK, it seems that people are recycling more than ever, with some councils recording a 34% increase in household recycling.
However, the problem of e-waste is still growing. And as the pandemic saw the demand for technology surge, some believe this is setting us up for a huge influx of e-waste, a few years down the line.
Around 82% of electrical equipment ends up being sent to landfill, incinerated, or illegally traded, instead of responsibly recycled. This is extremely damaging to our ecosystem. If you think that’s scary, here are some more facts and figures you should know:
- The EU alone disposes of 160,000 laptops every single day, whilst nearly three quarters could be recycled or reused.
- According to the UN’s Global E-Waste Monitor, 53.6 million metric tonnes of e-waste was generated in 2019
But less than 18% of this was recycled correctly.
- Globally, e-waste increased by 21% within just 5 years, up from 44.4 million tonnes in 2014.
- Over 160 million laptops are produced every year. For every new laptop manufactured:
On average, 380kg of CO2 is produced.
- It takes at least 22kgs of chemicals, and 240kg of fossil fuels to produce a PC along with its’ monitor.
- Research indicates the UK could save 2.8 million tonnes of CO2 emission if we simply recycled our unwanted small electricals instead of storing them or throwing them away
That’s the same as taking 1.3 million cars off the road!
- Refurbishing or recycling PCs can create around 300 new jobs a year for every 9,000 tonnes of computer waste.
- In 2019, the UK generated 23.9kg of e-waste per person – this is the 2nd highest total of e-waste per capita in the world.
- E-waste is extremely toxic to the environment and our health, with items such as computers, monitors, and mice, containing large amounts of hazardous substances such as lead.
- This lead can contaminate the soils and ground waters of local communities. Lead poisoning can cause severe damage to our kidneys, bloodstreams, and nervous systems.
- The world collectively is increasing the total e-waste figure by 4% every single year
- By 2030, it is projected we will generate upwards of 73 million tonnes of this hazardous waste – this means the figure from 2014 will have doubled in just 16 years.
This is meaning the figure will have doubled in just 16 years.
We need to take action.
If our global community continues to let the e-waste problem spiral, we will cause damage that is irreversible. Therefore, it’s critical, that organisations of all sizes and sectors work together to ensure they take sustainability seriously and ensure their end-of-life tech is recycled or disposed of responsibly, with the environment in mind.
You can help combat the e-waste climate by using our hassle-free IT Asset Disposal service. We work to make IT recycling as simple and hassle-free, by offering free collections, cash rebates, complete traceability, and MOD level security. Our award winning ITAD facility is managed entirely by us, and is fully accredited, including by the Environmental Agency.
For more information, contact us today.