Plastic in our tech, it needs to stop

Plastic is in more tech than you could possibly imagine, accounting for 20% of the technology or e-waste each year.

There are at present 50 million tonnes of the e-waste annually a figure which is set to rise to over 110 million tonnes by 2050.

Campaigners say this is being overlooked and drastic action needs to take place immediately to quell the problem.

“The amount of e-waste increasing annually is tremendous,” stated Ruediger Kuehr, director of the Sustainable Cycles Programme at the United Nations University.

“At the moment, we are generating roughly 50 million tonnes per year globally, and it is expected that it will reach 110 million tonnes in 2050 if we do not change our existing business and consumption practices.”

He went on to explain how the majority of plastics used in technology are not designed for recycling, which means it ends up in landfill.

“That means, if we were confronted with a long line of trucks fully loaded with the plastic from e-waste, there would be more than 62,000 trucks stretching from Rome to Frankfurt,”
So what can we do to help?

“Firstly and foremost, we want to raise awareness among consumers on the benefits of recycled plastics in electronics,” explained Violeta Nikolova from PolyCE (Post-Consumer High-tech Recycled Polymers for a Circular Economy).

“We would also like consumers to start thinking more about the components of products, in the same way, they’re looking into appearance or design quality,”

While many of the consumer gadgets need plastics, there are ways of improving upon the materials that are used, recycling is on of the biggest things, other than the phones not being created in the first place.

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