International E-Waste Day: reuse and the circular economy

Posted on the 14th October 2021

With a focus on circularity during this year’s International E-Waste Day, we look to what role reuse plays in making circularity a reality for electricals.

What is International E-Waste Day?

International E-Waste Day has been developed by the WEEE Forum, an international association of e-waste collection schemes, and its members, as a way of highlighting the importance of repairing or correctly disposing of unwanted electricals with the aim of increasing reuse, recovery and recycling rates.

What is e-waste?

E-waste is defined as ‘electronic products that are unwanted, not working, and nearing or at the end of their useful life’. The latest findings from the UN note that in 2021 each person on the planet will produce on average 7.6kg of e-waste, meaning that a massive 57.4 million tonnes will be generated worldwide. These figures are a stark reminder of the importance of recycling or reusing our unwanted electricals in order to prevent the harmful impact e-waste can have on the environment.

Reuse and a circular economy

The theme of International E-Waste Day this year centres on circularity and what we can do to make the circular vision a reality when it comes to electricals. With reuse being the priority in a circular economy, our sector plays a huge role in the prevention of e-waste. Thanks to the work of reuse charities and social enterprises such as those who make up the Reuse Network, we can see the significant environmental and social impact that reusing electricals can have in our communities.

Through their work repairing and refurbishing unwanted household items, Reuse Network members are helping divert waste from going to landfill and instead give these items a second lease of life. Last year alone, Reuse Network members helped provide around 1.5 million low-income families with access to essential items such as white goods, furniture and more.

How can you take part in International E-Waste Day?

There are lots of fantastic activities taking place across the globe in recognition of International E-Waste Day including virtual talks to attend, animated film series to enjoy, sculptures to visit and online discussions to participate in, to name just a few! You can find a full list of all the activities taking place throughout the day here.

To show your support for reuse, you can choose to become a Friend of Reuse Network and make a pledge to become more sustainable, more charitable and more mindful of reuse in your day-to-day life.

By joining Friends of Reuse Network you will be supporting our charity and our hundreds of members across the UK who are pushing the boundaries of reuse.

On International E-Waste Day we are delighted to welcome REPIC, who are a WEEE Producer Compliance Scheme and strong advocates for WEEE reuse, to our circle of friends. The organisation have recently joined us as a Friend of Reuse Network with a view to support and promote safe high-quality reuse of electricals.

Find out how you can join Friends of Reuse Network here

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