If you’re unfamiliar with the term, E-waste (short for electronic waste), essentially refers to discarded electronic appliances like mobile phones, computers and TVs. It includes anything with plugs, cords and electronic components.
The issue with E-waste is that it contains an alarming amount of toxins which can be released into the atmosphere, contaminate wildlife, soil and leak into our water supplies.
Electronics also contain valuable, non-renewable resources such as gold, silver, copper, platinum, aluminium and cobalt. This means when we throw away electronics without recycling, we are throwing away precious materials.
With the explosion of tech products on the market, manufactured by hundreds of different companies, the life cycle of technology products is becoming shorter and shorter. What is more, many of us don’t think about what happens to our tech after we throw it out.
As a result, there is a gigantic mountain of electronic waste piling up year after year.
With the current climate crisis, it’s extremely important we all make efforts towards a solution, which includes correctly disposing of your E-waste.
Firstly, although it’s tempting, it’s responsible to wait as long as possible to upgrade your device. There are phone contracts now that will replace your old iPhone with the new one as soon as it comes out, and as one comes out nearly every year, this is incredibly wasteful.
Ask yourself, do I really need a new device?
If you’re a business, you should get in touch with a responsible electronic waste disposal company. You can easily search for one in your area at Recycle Now.
Virtually all electronic waste contains some form of recyclable material and parts within your device can be recovered and given to manufacturers so new products can be made.
You should also try to reduce your consumption of electronic goods through efficient planning and maintenance.
If you no longer want your electronic device, but it is still fully functional, it’s worth thinking about passing it on so someone else can give it a new lease of life.
You could give your device to friends and family, donate it to a charity, or upload it onto a second hand site like eBay, Gumtree or Music Magpie. In addition to this, some high street stores such as CeX will buy certain electronic items for cash.
If your item is broken, why not consider getting it fixed rather than throwing the whole thing away?
Before you recycle any old electronics, ensure you erase ALL your private data so it cannot be retrieved by anyone else.
To conclude, the climate crisis is real and we all need to work together to do what we can to improve this. E-waste is a good place to start.
We all have some sort of technology in our lives, and if we all started responsibly disposing of devices when finished with them, we can make a huge difference.