International E-Waste day.

2018 will be the first year we recognise International E-Waste day on the 13th of October. It aims to raise awareness of how to dispose of electrical items correctly and the consequences to the planet if we don’t.┬áThis day was developed by the WEEE Forum, a group of e-waste collection schemes. This is an international effort with the aim of increasing reuse and recycling rates. I have discussed the impacts of smartphones on the environment before. I am thrilled that this day has been taken to raise awareness for the sake of our planet.


International e-waste day logo


10 E-Waste facts:

  • 40 millions tonnes of electronic waste is generated annually. That’s the same as throwing away. It is estimated by the end of 2018 this will rise to 50 million.
  • 12.5% of e-waste is actually recycled. Some estimate it could be as much as 20% but this is still not good enough.
  • The average mobile phone owner… Or cellphone depending where you are in the world, changes their device every 18 months.
  • Of all toxic waste, 70% is due to e-waste.
  • Annually 300 million computers and 1 billion mobile/cellphones are produced. This is expected to increase by 8% per year.
  • E-Waste is toxic due to having mercury, arsenic, lead, chromium and many other substances that are poisonous. Lead can even damage our nervous system, more so in children.
  • Improper disposal of e-waste releases toxins into the air.
  • E-Waste is the fastest growing source of waste in the US.
  • In developing countries like India, e-waste could rise by as much as 500%.
  • In the US alone every day 142,000 computers and 416,000 mobile phones are disposed of.


e-waste ocean


What can we do?

As it is the first ever e-waste day raising awareness is key. In the age of social media you can acknowledge and promote the day. Post a fact or image and use the hashtag, #internationalEwasteday. Days like this are a huge step towards the right direction. We can all make One Change Now to start reversing the damage society has done.

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