Electronics the fastest growing waste stream in the world – WEE Forum

E-Waste Day 2020
Tadgh O’Reilly (11) on International E-Waste Day Image: Conor McCabe

International E-waste Day promotes awareness of recycling, repair facilities



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14 October 2020 | 0

The WEEE Forum is marking today’s International E-waste Day by asking consumers to reduce the amount of e-waste they produce.

E-waste is the fastest growing waste stream in the world. It is estimated that a new high of 53.6 million tonnes of e-waste worth approximately €50.8 billion (the equivalent value of 2.9 million electric cars) were generated across the planet in 2019. Furthermore, e-waste is projected to reach an incredible 75 million tonnes by 2030, which is 9kg for every person in the world. Every house has an average of 72 electrical products, 11 of which are broken or not being used.

Leo Donovan, chief executive of WEEE Ireland explained: “Before putting an electronic item to recycling we would ask people to consider if it can be repaired or if someone else might find a use for it. Research shows that 81% of all requests for product repair results in successful fixes, extending the product life.




“We are making the request in support of a transition towards a zero carbon more circular economy, which aims to keep our resources in circulation for longer, reducing waste and easing demand for new raw materials used to manufacture new electronic goods.

“If we really want to progress to a circular economy in Ireland, we need to look further up the waste hierarchy and that may mean including more criteria such as durability and repairability in the information provided to customers.

“Through a variety of methods we should look at keeping suitable products in use for as long as possible, either by the original user, flowing to new owners or utilising repair services.”

WEEE Ireland was the second-best performing recycling scheme in Europe in 2019, with 38,594 tonnes of waste electrical items and the equivalent of over 44 million used AA portable batteries collected.

A new national record of 10.89kg of e-waste was recycled per head of population last year by WEEE Ireland, on behalf of over 1,114 members and partners – a rise of 6.2% on 2018.

Alongside International E-waste Day, International Repair Day takes place this Saturday, 17 October to encourage people to reduce the amount of goods discarded of every year and use authorised repair engineers for quality and safe repair of home electrical equipment.

By visiting RepairMyStuff.ie consumers can access an online directory of repair professionals nationwide.

TechCentral Reporters

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