Repair rather than skip your electronics, is the call from International E-Waste Day.
People should consider increasing the lifespan of their electronics by repairing them or passing them on to others, says WEEE Ireland.
Electronic tools like smartphones, tablets and video games are still valuable and useful, even if they are a few years old.
The International E-Waste Day organisers, including WEEE Ireland, estimate that the raw material value of global e-waste in 2019 was worth approximately €50.8bn, the equivalent amount of 2.9 million electric cars.
The fastest-growing waste stream
Electronic waste is the fastest growing waste stream in the world. An enormous 53.6 million tonnes of e-waste was generated across the planet in 2019.
E-waste is calculated to reach an unimaginable 75 million tonnes by 2030, which is 9 kg for every person in the world.
“[We need to] love our electronic items for longer,” says Leo Donovan, chief executive of WEEE Ireland.
“Before recycling an electronic device, we would ask people to consider if it can be repaired or if someone else might find a use for it.
“Research suggests that 81% of all requests for product repair results in successful fixes, extending the product life. Every house has an average of 72 electrical products, 11 of which are broken or not being used anymore.
“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.
What does WEEE Ireland do?
WEEE Ireland was the second-best performing recycling scheme in Europe in 2019, with 38,594 tonnes of electrical waste 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.
Repair rather than recycle
Alongside International E-waste Day, International Repair Day takes place this Saturday, October 17 to encourage people to reduce the number of goods discarded of every year and use authorised repair engineers for quality and safe repair of home electrical equipment.
RepairMyStuff.ie is a useful online directory of repair professionals nationwide.
The source for statistics quoted is here.