E-waste has been a problem for some time–with only 15% of discarded electronics recycled in 2019..
Electronics contain plastics and metals, such as gold, silver, copper, lithium and cadmium. Carbon dioxide, and other greenhouse gases, are released when these materials are refined and manufactured into phones, computers, tablets and other electronic devices. They are also released when these materials are incinerated as waste (source).
Before you add another new electronic item to your cart, consider participating in the circular economy. The circular economy looks at a product from its beginning as natural resources, to the end of useful life. Instead of becoming “waste,” the circular economy considers how the product could be rehomed, refurbished or recycled, so that no new resources are needed.
When it comes time to discard old electronics, think about organizing a swap meet at a local high school gym or a parking lot. People can bring old computers, phones and other working electronics and either sell them or give them away.
The circular economy needs leaders in every community.
Click here to learn more about the circular economy.