In celebration of Earth Day this year, we want to share some shocking facts about electronic waste. Hopefully, this will shed some light on the impact of your electronic purchases and inspire you to reduce spending on unnecessary devices.
Need a ‘fun’ break? Try our Earth Day quiz here to see how much you know about e-waste! Otherwise, continue reading below for some facts and tips on how you can reduce your e-waste footprint.
Fact 1. So far in 2021, 14,843,866 TONS of electronic waste and counting have been thrown out!
You can check out a live e-waste counter here.
For your reference, electronic waste (aka e-waste) is classified as any trash generated from broken and old or obsolete electronic devices. Do you have an old cell phone or a computer that no longer works? Well, if you throw them out, your local waste plant will classify them as e-waste.
Fact 2. An average cellphone user replaces their unit once every 18 months.
Around the globe, over 1 billion cellphones are made each year. This is equivalent to 31 cellphones made each second! Believe it or not, this number is expected to grow by 8% a year. So think about this fact the next time you purchase that latest iPhone model.
Fact 3. E-waste comprises 70% of our overall toxic waste.
On top of the waste we make from plastics and other non-renewal materials, e-waste contributes a significant amount to the total amount of toxic waste.
That’s because discarded electronics contain hundreds of toxic materials such as mercury, lead, arsenic, cadmium, selenium, and chromium. What’s more? Only 12.5% of this e-Waste is recycled properly.
Fact 4. 80% of E-Waste in the US and other countries are transported to Asia.
Usually, this is because it’s cheaper for many municipalities to transport the e-waste to Asia rather than disposing of the electronic waste themselves locally. Here is a short 5-minute video on what these e-waste recycling plants look like in Asia.
Fact 5. We Throw out the equivalent of 800 laptops every second worldwide.
To give a solid number, that’s 40 million tons of electronic waste per year! Help our mother earth by re-using your old computers and only replacing them when your current one no longer works.
Buying a new computer is not only wasteful but also costly. If you have an older computer that’s slow or doesn’t run like it used to consider trying the StartMeStick. You can breathe new life into an old computer and save it from going to the landfill!
What are you doing to reduce your electronic waste this year? Let us know in the comments below!