Dead technology? Top 10 facts about e-waste…

Electronic waste is the fastest growing waste stream on the planet. As tech manufacturers continually bring out better models, equipment is being seen as disposable. So what should we be doing with all of that discarded equipment?


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As we reported last week, the Green Alliance is calling for an increased focus on recycling and repair. A new report from the Alliance details six ‘circular’ ways to cut these emissions, including more software upgrades, more uniform (modular) parts and a focus on re-use. This increased focus could cut the carbon footprint of each device by up to half, the Alliance has said.

The report also reveals that the smart device sector is also getting more carbon-intensive over time.  In total, the global mobile device industry generated more emissions than the whole of the UK’s transport sector in 2013. 

Meanwhile, mobile operator O2 showed it is ahead of the pack on e-waste recycling by announcing last week that it has saved 142,000kg of waste from landfill through its O2 Recycle initiative, paying out £100m for old phones and tablets in the process. The group’s recycling service has received over 1.4 million devices since its launch in 2009. 

Following this flurry of reports and announcements, edie has collated 10 fascinating facts about e-waste…

Lucinda Dann

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