£8 billion in “invisible e-waste” – The E-Waste Weekly Recap

by Nathan Church 27th October 2023

Table of Contents

£8 billion worth of raw materials discarded in “invisible e-waste”

A study organised by The Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Forum reveals that more than £8 billion worth of vital raw materials can be reclaimed from what is known as “invisible e-waste.”

This type of e-waste, often disregarded by consumers, encompasses items such as unused cables, electronic toys, novelty clothing with LED decorations, power tools, and vaping devices.

Surprisingly, invisible e-waste constitutes 9 billion kg or roughly one-sixth of the world’s total e-waste.

Remarkably, the study uncovered that a significant portion of invisible e-waste comprises e-toys, with 7.3 billion of them discarded annually, constituting about 35% of this category.

This predicament of invisible e-waste, involving items like 844 million vaping devices and 950 million kg of copper-containing cables discarded last year, will be the focal point of the 6th annual International E-Waste Day.

Magdalena Charytanowicz from the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) Forum stressed the necessity of raising awareness about this concealed electronic waste, which frequently eludes consumers’ notice and remains beneath the recycling industry’s radar, mirroring the progress made in addressing plastic pollution.

Raising awareness and taking action are vital in tackling this mounting concern.

Research shows Brits least likely to repair tech devices in Europe

A study carried out by the refurbished tech marketplace Back Market indicates that 47% of Britons recycle their old technology, and 48% make efforts to extend their devices’ lifespans, despite 64% acknowledging experiencing eco-anxiety.

The survey, encompassing 2,000 British participants (51% female and 49% male) and conducted by IPSOS, highlights key findings.

Compared to other European nations, the research reveals that British individuals are the least likely to repair their malfunctioning devices.

Only 32% have seldom or never repaired an electronic device they own, whereas the average in France, Spain, and Germany stands at 23%.

The survey also discloses that 30% of respondents question whether altering their tech-related habits will have a positive environmental impact.

Furthermore, 33% express uncertainty about making more sustainable choices, and only 21% display an inclination towards adopting circular economy consumption practices.

This study accentuates the prevalence of misconceptions concerning the environmental repercussions of tech consumption.

Katy Medlock, the UK General Manager for Back Market, underscores the need for educating consumers about the impact of their technology-related purchases and behaviours, particularly as the holiday season approaches.

Raising awareness and encouraging practices like repairing and recycling are pivotal steps in addressing the ever-growing e-waste issue.

Contact Glasgow Computer Recycling Regarding Your Tech Devices

For all your tech device enquiries, contact Glasgow Computer Recycling. We’re here to help you with responsible disposal and recycling solutions. Get in touch today.

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