In Germany, several million electrical appliances are disposed of every year. In the process, a large proportion of these devices end up in the rubbish instead of being disposed of properly. In this article we show how to dispose of e-waste properly!
E-waste – what is it actually?
E-waste, also known as Waste of Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE), is the term for worn-out or defective electrical and electronic equipment. This includes, for example, televisions, computers, refrigerators, washing machines, mobile phones and so on.
In Germany, around 7.3 million tonnes of e-waste are produced every year – that is roughly equivalent to the mass of six Eiffel Towers! Although proper disposal is regulated in the WEEE EU directive, about 60 percent is not recycled properly.
Impact of e-waste on the environment
E-waste is a major environmental burden. The production of e-waste pollutes the environment in many ways. For one thing, the production of e-waste produces harmful emissions that pollute the air, water and soil. Secondly, many e-waste products are made of materials containing heavy metals such as lead, cadmium and mercury.
These metals can enter the environment and become deposited in the soil and groundwater. Thus, they can be absorbed almost unhindered by plants and animals. In view of this, it is essential to get a grip on this problem.
What can I do to reduce e-waste?
So how can the problem be tackled? There are many ways to reduce e-waste. One is to try to use electrical appliances for as long as possible. If you buy a new appliance, make sure that you buy a high-quality and durable product.
On the other hand, you can try to recycle electronic waste. In many countries there are special recycling facilities for e-waste, which are covered by the Electrical and Electronic Equipment Act. There, the appliances are broken down into their individual parts and then recycled.
- Buy fewer new electronics. Instead, you can try to reuse or repair your old electronics.
- Avoid buying bad and cheap electronics. These products break faster and need to be replaced more often, resulting in more e-waste.
- Recycle or sell your old appliances instead of just throwing them away. This way, other people can continue to use their devices and don’t have to buy them new.
It is important to take care of the environment and try to pollute it as little as possible. E-waste is a big burden on the environment, so it is important to dispose of it properly. As we have shown in this article, there are several ways to reduce e-waste and everyone should find a method that works best for them.