COVID-19 is adding to the rise of e-waste being generated across the globe. International E-Waste Day aims to raise awareness of the growing crisis and its global impact. TechCollect NZ (TCNZ) supports International E-Waste Day in Aotearoa and is working to promote e-waste recycling and the benefits of building a circular economy.
The digital transformation of people’s lives spurred on by the COVID-19 pandemic has led to a dramatic increase in the purchase of electronic devices. Companies bought new technology and devices to facilitate employees working from home. Consumers turned to digital devices to cope with pandemic isolation.
Michael Dudley, Senior Policy Manager for TCNZ, comments, “Electronic devices have made living and coping with COVID-19 lockdown restrictions more bearable. They have allowed us to continue working from home, homeschool our children, stay connected with friends and family, shop online as well as streaming our favourite movies, sports and TV shows. The increase in the purchase of these devices, however, will inevitably lead to an increase in the need for their disposal.”
Research highlights how consumption of game consoles, cell phones, electrical ovens and laptops have increased due to COVID-19, adding 0.3 metric tonnes to the consumption of electronic and electrical equipment, and hence future e-waste generation. This will contribute to what is already the fastest growing waste stream in Aotearoa and around the world.
Founded by the WEEE (waste electrical and electronic equipment) Forum, International E-waste Day aims to raise the public profile of responsible e-waste recycling. The theme for this year’s International E-Waste day is “Consumer is the key to Circular Economy!”
“Everyone has a role to play in moving towards a circular economy – from individuals to SMEs and international organisations”, says Dudley. “Once your electronic device reaches its end-of-life and all opportunities for reuse have been exhausted, recycling is the next best step in the product’s lifecycle. Reusing these valuable resources in the manufacture of new products closes the loop and reduces the need for further extraction and refinement of earth’s precious resources via carbon-intensive processes”.
About WEEE Forum
The WEEE Forum is a globally unique platform for facilitating knowledge and best practice exchange between organisations across the WEEE value chain. Our focus is to help not-for-profit producer responsibility organisations in their pursuit to continuously improve their e-waste management strategies and techniques.
Through its contribution to the WEEE knowledge base and the active promotion of best practice in the sector across the globe, the WEEE Forum creates added value through collaboration and knowledge exchange in task forces and working groups, shares ideas with policymakers to make WEEE legislation more effective and supports the transformation of the current linear economy into the circular economy.
Visit website: https://weee-forum.org/