Waste management software provider ISB Global calls on electronic manufacturers and retailers to adopt more sustainable processes that prioritise reuse and recycling.
Prioritising these processes reduces the impact of e-waste on the environment and sets up producers for long-term success as part of a low-waste circular economy, ISB Global says.
Chris Williams, founder and CEO of ISB Global, has highlighted the “unexploited potential” of old or broken devices that would otherwise be thrown away as a source for the base metals that are integral to the production of new hardware.
In a blog post, Williams wrote: “In every country around the world, there are millions of old, unwanted electronic gadgets hiding in drawers, boxes, lofts or garages whose components could be recycled and reused to make the next generation of new devices and appliances.
“The current situation opens up a significant commercial opportunity for forward-thinking waste and recycling companies to collect and then recycle this old technology at scale. They can take it apart, and sort and remove the valuable elements to return back into the market for reuse.”
Williams also emphasises governments and consumers have a significant contribution to make to solve the e-waste problem. “Each of us should actively pursue a less wasteful, more productive end-of-life for all of our devices. National governments must hold manufacturers and retailers to account if they don’t provide the means for consumers to do so.”
What’s needed are clear, easy-to-use schemes for people to send their devices for reuse or recycling once they are finished with them.
Williams highlights a new EU (European Union) law that aims to ensure batteries are collected, reused and recycled in Europe entered into force on 17 August.
“The new regulation aims to promote a circular economy by regulating batteries of all sizes and types throughout their life cycle. It establishes end-of-life requirements, including targets for the collection and recovery of chemical materials within batteries and extended responsibility by battery manufacturers.
“Governments should apply a similar approach to old electronic devices. What’s needed are clear, easy-to-use schemes for people to send their devices for reuse or recycling once they are finished with them.”
Williams concludes his post by stating that investing in and devising new ways for consumers and businesses to reuse and recycle old and unwanted technology safely and sustainably will reduce the damage done to the environment and halt the depletion of the earth’s natural resources.
“In doing so, we can create a fairer, more sustainable circular economy that benefits people and the planet alike,” Williams wrote.