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E-waste: 5.3 billion mobile phones will be thrown away in 2022 – WEEE

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THE International Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) Forum has said that 5.3 billion electronic devices and mobile phones will be disposed of in 2022.

October 14 marks International E-waste Day, where experts have said 5.3 billion devices will cease functioning this year

WEEE Director General Pascal Leroy said that people are ignorant of the value of e-waste recyclables.

“People tend not to realize that all these seemingly insignificant items have a lot of value and together at a global level represent massive volumes,” he said.

The WEEE’s findings reveal that by 2030 heaps of e-waste could build up to 74 million tonnes annually.

It is evident that consumers are hoarding many dead or broken battery-operated devices, and this is the focus of this year’s 5th annual International E-Waste Day.

By the WEEE’s estimation, worldwide there are 16 billion mobile phones and about one third are no longer useful.

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According to findings, people keep old gadgets, rather than trashing or recycling them.

WEEE Communication Manager Magdalena Charytanowicz said the e-waste are vital resources that can be used to produce new electronic devices.

“These devices offer many important resources that can be used in the production of new electronic devices or other equipment, such as wind turbines, electric car batteries or solar panels – all crucial for the green, digital transition to low-carbon societies,” she said.

Charytanowicz made reference to the short video below.

Precious metals used in the manufacturing of these devices are often mined, which causes pollution and health hazards for those who work in such environments.

To curb e-waste Leroy suggests initiatives that would be helpful.

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“Providing collection boxes in supermarkets, pick-up of small broken appliances upon delivery of new ones and offering PO [post-office] boxes to return small e-waste are just some of the initiatives introduced to encourage the return of these items,” he said.

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