Global electronic waste grows to almost 60 million tonnes in 2021

According to WEEE Ireland, Irish homes contain an average of 15 to 20 electrical items which are broken or unused.
Global electronic waste grows to almost 60 million tonnes in 2021

This year, the world's total amount of waste from electronic and electrical equipment (WEEE) will be an estimated 57.4 million tonnes, weighing more than the Great Wall of China which is the world's heaviest artificial object.

According to the latest figures, global e-waste is growing by an estimated three or four per cent annually.

The rising level of e-waste is being attributed to the high rates of consumerism, shorter product lifecycles and limited repair options.

In 2020, almost 60 million household electrical appliances, tech devices and lighting equipment were placed on the market.

The importance of recycling

According to WEEE Ireland, Irish homes contain an average of 15 to 20 electrical items which are broken or unused.

With International E-Waste Day taking place this Thursday, experts are calling for households, businesses and governments to support efforts to get more dead or unused plug-in or battery-operated products to authorised facilities.

If taken to authorised facilities, WEEE where they can be either repaired or recycled.

Leo Donovan, CEO of WEEE Ireland and Irish e-waste expert spoke about the importance of recycling electronic equipment.

“Recycling one microwave weighing around 11.5 kg or a vacuum cleaner weighing 4kg goes a long way towards hitting our recycling targets and getting valuable rare earth metals back into our system to be put to good use,” Mr Donovan said.

“Not only does it require a lot more energy to recover metals from the ground than it does to recover it from recycling, but there is only a limited amount of these materials on earth.”

Some 85 per cent of all material collected is recovered for use again in manufacturing through both indigenous operators and specialist processors in Europe.

WEEE Ireland is asking Irish families to identify at least 5 hoarded devices that are beyond repair and ready for recycling to mark this year's International E-Waste Day.

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