The World’s Fastest Growing Waste Stream: E-waste In The Spotlight On International E-waste Day

The World’s Fastest Growing Waste Stream: E-waste In The Spotlight On International E-waste Day

International E-waste Day is an initiative aimed at reducing the burden that e-waste places on the environment and saving natural resources. To support educational and public awareness activities linked to the initiative, TCO Development has launched an e-waste quiz.

In 2019, 53.6 million metric tonnes (Mt) of e-waste was generated worldwide, an increase of 21 percent in just five years. E-waste is still the world’s fastest growing waste stream, and it is estimated that by 2030 the amount will reach 74 million Mt. Much of it is handled unsafely, causing pollution, human health hazards, and the loss of valuable finite resources. Most countries have difficulties handling these vast amounts of discarded products in a responsible and resource-efficient way.  In 2019, only 17% of these products were  collected and recycled.

To prevent e-waste, the global sustainability certification TCO Certified has a circular approach to the production and consumption of IT products. The criteria in TCO Certified requires that IT products are durable, repairable, and upgradeable as well as recyclable, so that products can be used longer and materials can be recovered.

From this year, TCO Certified includes a supplemental certification for e-waste intended for best-in-class products meeting leading edge sustainability criteria. The e-waste compensated programme gives purchasing organizations the opportunity to take responsibility for the e-waste they generate.

International E-Waste Day aims to raise awareness about promoting the correct disposal of e-waste throughout the world. Education will be the core focus area of this year’s programme. . Last year, more than 112 organizations from 48 countries backed  the initiative to encourage recycling of e-waste. This year, the initiative is expected to be even more successful .

“With International E-Waste Day we hope that more people will understand that it is important to reuse, repair, resell, or dispose of their used products responsibly,” says Pascal Leroy, Director General at WEEE Forum, the international association for electrical and electronic waste collection and recovery systems that is responsible for  the initiative.

In light of this year’s theme, education, TCO Development launched an e-waste quiz to educate and raise awareness. The goal of e-waste quiz is to encourage consumers and purchasers to take action and to take responsibility for their e-waste.

“In order to reduce e-waste the most important thing you can do is to keep your IT products in circulation for as long as possible by your own use, re-use, repair or reselling the product. If none of this is possible, make sure the product is responsibly recycled,” says Clare Hobby, Global Purchaser Engagement Director at TCO Development.

“Start simple. Look at your IT equipment and think, can I use it for one more year?” Hobby adds.