Electronic waste – or ‘e-waste’ refers to all products/items of electrical and electronic equipment (EEE) and subsequent parts that are discarded without the intent of reuse.
The cross-party Environmental Audit Committee (EAC) claims that the UK produces nearly 10kg more e-waste per person than the EU average; highlighting a growing concern.
To delve deeper into the topic of e-waste collected in the UK, Case24.com analysed 2019 data released by Gov.uk concerning Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE), which outlines the amount of household waste collected in the UK.
The data analysed covers January – June 2019, and compares statistics against the same period of 2018 to determine any significant increases or decreases per household category.
It was found Cooling Appliances and Containing Refrigerants (fridges and freezers for example), accounted for the most e-waste generated in the UK so far in 2019 – with an astounding 43,938.099 tonnes. This household category saw a 3.74% increase when compared to the same period in 2018.
The next most prevalent household category was Large Household Appliances (e.g. washing machine) with 43,832.747 tonnes collected in the first half of the year – the greatest increase noted since 2018 at 5.15%.
The third category identified was Display Equipment with 19,140.532 – although positively, had the third most significant percentage decrease since 2018 – 10.5%.
In contrast, Monitoring and Control Instruments was the household category with the lowest level of collected items at 13.758 tonnes – comparably the highest decline since last year at 21.5%.
Other notable household categories include: IT and Telcomms Equipment (16,376.191 – 2.87% decrease) and Toys Leisure and Sports (1,030.199), echoing the notion that homeowners need to be more responsible when handling e-waste.
So far in 2019, a grand total of 165,771.997 tonnes of household e-waste has been tossed away.
|Household e-waste collected in the UK: January to June 2019|
|Cooling Appliances Containing Refrigerants||43,938.099|
|Large Household Appliances||43,832.747|
|Small Household Appliances||16,682.500|
|IT and Telcomms Equipment||16,376.191|
|Electrical and Electronic Tools||8,595.922|
|Toys Leisure and Sports||1,030.199|
|Gas Discharge Lamps and LED Light Sources||486.554|
|Monitoring and Control Instruments||13.758|