International e-Waste Day will focus on small electronic items

Photo: Dokumol/Pixabay

Organized by the WEEE Forum, International E-Waste Day has become a key awareness event, providing a platform for organizations around the world as they try to tackle the e-waste challenge. The 2021 edition was bigger than ever, with organizations from 78 countries undertaking e-waste activities, and it is hoped that 2022 will be even bigger.

Small electrical and electronic devices at the end of their life represent a significant challenge. The UN estimated that in 2019, more than 22 million tons of small electronic waste was generated worldwide. This represents 40% of the 57 million tonnes of all e-waste generated globally. If the quantity of these small objects continues to increase at the same rate as the total electronic waste (around 3% per year), it will reach 29 million tonnes by 2030.

Due to their small size, items such as cell phones, electric toothbrushes, toasters and cameras are often disposed of incorrectly, and they account for a significant proportion of the 8% of all e-waste which are thrown into garbage cans which are then landfilled or incinerated. This means that the important raw materials they contain cannot be extracted and are lost. In Europe, up to 1.4 kg of electronic waste per inhabitant ends up in the general waste bin each year. Plus, small appliances are easily tucked away and forgotten about in drawers, closets, garages, basements and attics. In an average European household, up to 5 kg of electronic devices per person are currently stored.

“In this context, it is crucial that people become more aware and that the loss of the important resources contained in these articles is stopped. This is why the International E-waste Day 2022 will focus on small electronic waste, under the slogan “Recycle everything, no matter how small!”, says Pascal Leroy, Managing Director of the WEEE Forum.

“The WEEE Forum Producer Responsibility Organizations that manage e-waste collection are constantly striving to make the proper disposal of small e-waste simple and convenient for consumers. Providing collection boxes in supermarkets, picking up broken small appliances when new ones are delivered, and offering post boxes for the return of small e-waste are some of the things they do to encourage the return of these items. continues Mr. Leroy.

#ewasteday will take place on October 14, 2022 and all awareness activities related to e-waste are welcome: from social media, TV and radio campaigns to e-waste collections in cities or schools or even artistic performances. Companies wishing to join this common effort are invited to register on the initiative’s website.