The fact that waste generation is on the rise globally is unignorable. By 2050, it’s predicted we will be generating around 3.4 billion tonnes of waste annually, up from around 2 billion tonnes as of today.
However, what’s perhaps even more alarming is the speed at which electronic waste alone is rising. According to Statista’s Consumer Market Outlook, by 2026, the global consumer electronic market will be worth over $1.1 trillion, a figure that has been rising steadily since 2015 and shows no signs of stopping. Over 1.5 billion smartphones are bought and sold each year alone, and only a fraction of them will be collected and recycled properly.
In what follows, the Brown Recycling team will be taking a look at the rise of electronic waste – or e-waste as it’s commonly known – in greater detail, and looking at ways to combat its harmful effects.
We can understand e-waste as anything with a plug, a cord or electrical components. Here are a few common e-waste items: mobile phones, laptops, television and kitchen appliances. E-waste encompasses a huge range of product categories simply because so much of what we use today is electrical in nature.
While all waste in landfill can cause harm to the environment, e-waste is particularly dangerous due to the number of different toxic chemicals that these products can produce. These toxic chemicals can then leach into the soil below which contaminates local water supplies.
A further compounding problem is that e-waste is often exported to less developed countries where archaic and dangerous recycling methods are utilised, such as acid leaching and cable burning, which can cause the release of hazardous hydrocarbons and other byproducts which can impact local communities.
According to United Nations University, in 2010, 34 million metric tonnes of e-waste was produced worldwide. This figure consistently increased all the way up to 2019, when nearly 54 million metric tonnes of e-waste was produced. There was an increase of over 44 million metric tonnes of e-waste in five years, and of this only around 17% of it was collected and recycled appropriately. Perhaps even more frightening, this figure of 54 million could more than double to 120 million by 2050 if we don’t take action right now.
In terms of e-waste by region, Asia generates the largest volume of waste. In 2019, Asia produced nearly 25 million metric tonnes of e-waste, which is almost twice the amount of the Americas, the second highest generator. Unfortunately, of the amount produced, less than 12% of it was collected and appropriately recycled.
Brown Recycling is a leading waste management company in Stoke-on-Trent. We help companies of all sizes throughout the region stay on top of their waste by carrying out a thorough audit and providing a bespoke waste management solution that works for them. As hazardous waste specialists, we understand the gravity of the burgeoning e-waste problem, which is why we wanted to do our bit to educate people about it as much as possible.
You can ask us a question online using our contact form. Simply provide your name, email (purely for confirmation purposes) and the details of your enquiry, and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.
“We are hugely grateful to Brown Recycling for their help on DIY SOS: The Big Build in Stoke. Dave and the team went above and beyond to clear the site and then bring in other suppliers who also supported this great cause. Thanks to the generosity of countless suppliers and volunteers, Stoke now has a community centre that will support its residents for many years to come.”Read more testimonials
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Really efficient service, competitive price and they dropped off skip exactly where we asked them to. Easy to book a skip over the weekend using their online booking system. Very helpful when we nee...3 months ago
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Christie was very helpful, she managed the whole process very efficiently and met our expectations. We now have the service and commercial offering we need for our business waste. We would recommend...9 months ago
Quick and really reliable service.... was a pleasure dealing with Christie!!!...9 months ago
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Full marks to Andy and Mark. Went above and beyond today and would highly recommend them to anybody looking to recycle large quantities of waste. Professional, efficient and very approachable...11 months ago
First time using Browns, they were clear, efficient and got the job done. Will continue to use their services....1 year ago
New to sorting a bin service for our new business. Christie and Brown Recyling has been great with helping us select the right type of bin required as well as not overspending for the sake of it. He...1 year ago
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