Electronic waste is a problem. Though many businesses are increasingly more environmentally aware and implementing sustainability goals and policies, a significant portion of e-waste is still disposed of improperly, especially those classified as invisible or not recognized by users as e-waste.
Though many electronic devices are easily identifiable as e-waste, some are not as easily recognized as e-waste and are not always disposed of responsibly. Items such as e-toys, e-cigarettes, e-bikes, power tools, smoke detectors, USB sticks, wearable health devices, and smart home gadgets are categorized as e-waste. They are often overlooked and thrown out with municipal waste. Because most electronics, including those listed above, are made with lithium-ion batteries, irresponsible disposition can result in pollution and chemical fires.
A global association of producer responsibility groups recently highlighted these unrecognizable e-waste products for its sixth annual International E-Waste Day. The Brussels-based association is made up of 52 producer-responsibility organizations around the world, known as The Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) Forum, and commissioned the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) to calculate the amount of “invisible” e-waste generated.
According to a recently published report recapping the research takeaways, UNITAR determined that about one-sixth of e-waste (nine billion kilograms per year) goes largely unrecognized by consumers as e-waste.
“A significant amount of electronic waste is hidden in plain sight,” said Magdalena Charytanowicz of the WEEE Forum in the press release. “Sadly, invisible e-waste often falls under the recycling radar of those disposing of them because they are not seen as e-waste. We need to change that, and raising awareness is a large part of the answer. Much effort and progress was made around plastic pollution, and people are now more conscious about it, especially with a UN treaty on plastics in the works by 2024. We hope the same will occur in the e-waste field.”
HOBI International, Inc. is an R2v3, RIOS, WBE, and ISO-14001 certified IT asset management and disposition facility focused on the responsible disposal of retired IT assets via electronics recycling. Partnering with an ITAD enterprise like HOBI ensures e-waste is disposed of properly and mitigates any environmental liability.
For more information about our ITAD services, call 817-814-2620 or contact HOBI at email@example.com.