The UK’s E-Waste Problem

There’s no doubt that the UK is in the midst of an electronic waste crisis with more than two thirds of households sitting on old phone chargers, along with other items. A study by OKdo shows exactly how big our e-waste problem is, why it’s an issue and how we can dispose of electronic items safely and responsibly.

Here we’ll take a look at the key findings and help you get clued up on what to do with your old electronic items without adding to the UK’s landfill.

e-waste crisis in united kingdom

The UK produces some of the biggest e-waste

With an average of 23.9kg of e-waste per person, the UK is one of the top e-waste producers in the world. Shockingly, during the first six months of 2021, the country produced an amount of electronic waste equivalent to 15 Eiffel Towers.

Cables seem to be a huge contributing factor with 140 million being stored in homes up and down the country. Not only this, households have up to 60 items of old electronics that are left unused in drawers and cupboards.

Why is there such a big e-waste problem?

The main issue appears to be that people simply don’t know how to recycle their old technology with 38% of people aged 45-54 having never done it and are unsure how to. The younger Millennials are more clued up with 31% knowing how to recycle their e-waste.

With electronic products increasing every year and the demand for more digital technology due to remote working, the problem of electronic waste is only going to get worse. Add to this our culture’s obsession with having the latest gadgets and brand-new phones and smart devices, and it’s not difficult to see we’re heading for a serious landfill and environmental issue.

How can we dispose of e-waste safely?

Donating to charity is one way to dispose of unused tech without clogging up landfill. Charities will often donate such technology to communities where items are needed so you’ll be helping others too.

electrical-waste-uk

There are also many company initiatives and services which encourage the recycling of old items, often rewarding you for doing so in the form of vouchers or money off a new tech device.

Council collections or recycling centres are another option if you’re looking for a local site to take your old items to. It’s worth checking your local council to make sure your device can be recycled.

By raising awareness of the e-waste problem and making sure we know how to recycle our old technology, we can contribute to a safer and greener environment and possibly help other communities along the way.

About Salman Zafar

Salman Zafar is the CEO of BioEnergy Consult, and an international consultant, advisor and trainer with expertise in waste management, biomass energy, waste-to-energy, environment protection and resource conservation. His geographical areas of focus include Asia, Africa and the Middle East. Salman has successfully accomplished a wide range of projects in the areas of biogas technology, biomass energy, waste-to-energy, recycling and waste management. Salman has participated in numerous national and international conferences all over the world. He is a prolific environmental journalist, and has authored more than 300 articles in reputed journals, magazines and websites. In addition, he is proactively engaged in creating mass awareness on renewable energy, waste management and environmental sustainability through his blogs and portals. Salman can be reached at salman@bioenergyconsult.com or salman@cleantechloops.com.
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