The event, organised by the WEEE Forum, an international association of non-profit and producer led producer compliance schemes, brings together e-waste stakeholders across the world to promote the correct treatment of waste electrical and electronic equipment to enable reuse and recycling. This year the emphasis is on education and engaging with members of the public to increase awareness of the proper way to deal with their redundant electrical items.
Initiatives being undertaken by organisations participating in International E-Waste Day are designed to increase consumer knowledge about e-waste and how to dispose of it correctly for reuse, repair and recycling.
REPIC has partnered with the WEEE Forum to raise awareness amongst current and future generations of consumers, by developing a short film featuring children from across the world presenting e-waste facts and urging people to pass on their e-waste.
Louise Grantham, chief executive of REPIC, the largest household WEEE producer compliance scheme in the UK, comments: “Understanding the value in end of life products and the materials they contain is key in making the circular economy tangible to consumers. By educating the younger generations and recruiting them to promote messages about the valuable materials their old products might contain, and how they can be recovered and turned into new ones, will hopefully help to unlock old products which are currently languishing in drawers, attics and garages.
“International E-Waste Day provides us with the platform to inspire people to do the right thing. It’s an opportunity to encourage consumers to think about the valuable resources they contain and pass them on to family or friends, charity or selling them locally to give them a chance of a new life rather than simply storing them to the point they become obsolete. If used unwanted products are too old to be used, in poor condition or they are broken, then it’s important that these products are recycled correctly.”
It is estimated that 53.6 million tonnes of e-waste were generated across the planet in 2019, more than ever before, and this is projected to reach 75 million tonnes by 2030, which is 9 kg for every person in the world. E-waste has great value; the raw materials contained in the global e-waste generated in 2019 were worth approximately €50.8 billion.
Less than 18% of global e-waste was officially documented as recycled last year, with the rest either placed in landfill, incinerated, burned or illegally traded and treated in sub-standard conditions, and this is despite 71% of the world’s population being covered by e-waste legislation. This results in a huge loss of valuable and critical raw materials from the supply chain and causes serious health, environmental and societal issues.
Pascal Leroy, Director General of the WEEE Forum, said, “E-waste is the fastest growing domestic waste stream in the world, if we don’t continue to improve the way it is collected and treated it will continue to be a major environmental issue. One key area in the quest for continual improvement is in educating young people and the wider public; the more they know and understand, the more likely they are to make the correct decisions regarding their e-waste. This is the reason the 2020 edition of International E-Waste Day is dedicated to improving societal awareness.”
To view all the other IEWD videos please visit: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v2Vi055d1cs.