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Why we must take action against the e-waste crisis by Steve Haskew…..

…. Head of Sustainability at Circular Computing said: “As each year passes, at least two million tonnes of e-waste is added onto a rapidly expanding pile of electronic devices that could have instead been repurposed, reused and given a second life. The e-waste crisis continues to grow, and is close to reaching its tipping point as a result of inaction, which is why raising awareness of the issues at hand on International E-Waste Day is more important than ever before.

“We’re asking businesses to take a stand and start tackling this challenge with direct action. The focus this year is on small electronic devices, and raising awareness of the impact that dormant technology can have on the overall sustainability agenda, to zero out e-waste. The key is to show how a single business can make a difference, and how it all starts with one employee. Due to their size, small electronic devices are often either thrown away needlessly or chucked in the store cupboard because it’s the easiest solution. We now have the solutions, technology and services in place to be able to either recycle or fully reuse these devices, from phones to laptops, keyboards and chargers.

“The take, make and replace model is wholly unsustainable and action must be taken to develop the circular economy in the technology industry. One of the leading solutions to addressing this problem is remanufacturing. By repurposing devices, we avoid the depletion of the earth’s resources, cut emissions and remove the supply chain issues of building a device from new. For every remanufactured laptop, we can prevent approximately 316kg (700lb) of CO2 emissions from entering the atmosphere. By purchasing remanufactured, we can also save over 190,000 litres of water from being used, the standard for each new laptop, which is enough drinking water for over 700 years for the average American.

“As technology continues to be designed to be smaller and smaller, every product must be tracked and either recycled or reused so that we can start managing the growing e-waste issue and that our planet as well as economy can reap the rewards of new processes. So this International E-Waste Day we ask you to consider the impact of the technology in your business, keep track of the small stuff, and start taking action by making the most of the circular economy.”

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