What is E-Waste and How does it Impact the Environment?

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What is E-Waste and how can we create a more sustainable policy?

Electronic Waste or E-waste is a popular name for electronic products nearing the end of their ‘current life.’  Example of electronic products would include computers, mobile phones or cell phones, tablets, televisions, stereos, and fax machines. So everything we use at the office and at home too.

Landfills are the oldest form of waste management, currently, most of the world’s e-waste ends up here. So let that, literally, sink in for a moment because the implications are enormous. E-Waste includes every electronic device that ever gets thrown away.

IT overconsumption and its shortened lifespan have led to rapid growth in the numbers of unwanted or obsolete equipment.  In 2000, the average lifespan of a computer was 4.5 years. By 2005 it was down to 2 years. So the problem is getting worse every year. Computer recycling is now a vital issue that affects us all. Electronic devices can no longer be simply thrown away if we are to have a genuine and meaningful recycling programme.

So what is E-Waste and what is the solution? A better recycling process.

According to the Environment Agency, waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) is the fastest growing waste stream in the UK. The EU WEEE Directive 2012 regulates the management of electrical and electronic waste. It is applied in the UK by the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) Regulations 2013.

The so-called “circular economy” is the most intelligent approach if we are to fight the e-waste problem.

The planet comes first but often financial incentive will help generate change more quickly. A recent report on the Circular Economy in China by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation showed some remarkable findings. It said that a circular economy for electronics could reduce costs for consumers by 7% by 2030. By 2040 that would rise to14%. So now we have an environmental driver for business coupled with big financial advantages. So where do we start?

Only the extension of the life of the devices currently in circulation will make a big difference. Their maintenance, refurbishment, and reuse in one form or another can have a meaningful effect on their environmental impact.  Innovent has developed an innovative business model to achieve exactly that. It enables us to prolong the life of the equipment through our residual value investment and refurbishment processes.  This ultimately gives your IT devices second and third lives in different sectors.

So how exactly does Innovent’s programme work? Well, Innovent ensures that the devices used by our large commercial sectors find a second home in the SMEs and not-for-profit organisations. Instead of simply throwing stuff in the skip nearly all of this equipment can find both a new home and a grateful new owner.

Electronic waste solutions include leasing – not buying and throwing away.

So why do we throw so much stuff away? Well, new products with perceived or real advantages are certainly a trigger. The marketing machine from the manufacturers is absolutely enormous. It is not in their interests for us to hang on to old equipment even if it is still doing a perfectly good job. One of the major reasons for people to buy new devices is a perceived lack of reliability. When something needs sophisticated diagnostic, most manufacturers do not offer help. They don’t want you to fix your equipment. The reasons are obvious. They would benefit more if you bought a brand new device or upgraded your existing model. In many cases, this is completely unnecessary.

At Innovent Leasing, we believe we have the perfect solution. We provide what we call a Second Life solution. Asa leasing company we really do want your equipment back at the end of the lease term. We put tremendous value on this kit and we pass that financial gain on to you. And the reliability factor? Simple! We offer a next day swap out service for all of our 2nd Life Equipment. We will then repair and re-use the equipment either into a third life or as spare parts for repairs. Nothing goes to waste.

At Innovent, we focus on creating a green environment for your business. We do this by implementing certified and compliant electronics up-cycling services. We keep a very close eye as well on the statistics and facts relevant to the electronics recycling industry. So your company can clearly demonstrate its green credentials.

Electronic recycling is becoming increasingly crucial to the future of the planet. Recovering mobile phones, and recycling old computers, televisions, printers, and other electronic goods should be a priority. Considering the importance of e-waste recycling, it’s worth remembering some of the more shocking electronic recycling facts from around the world. The following facts illustrate the ongoing need for everyone to make an effort to conserve and properly recycle their electronic items. 

What is E-Waste: Reduce Your E-Waste Today – Facts and Statistics.

  • Global e-waste is growing. In fact, it is the fastest growing waste stream in the world, with predicted 25-50 billion connected devices.
  • Globally, the volume of electronic waste is projected to grow by 33%.
  • Nearly 50 million tons of e-waste was produced last year, worldwide. So that works out at nearly 15 pounds for every person on planet Earth!
  • This e-waste contains hundreds of different materials and toxic substances. So this list includes lead, arsenic, cadmium, mercury and flame retardants. So all of these leach into the environment during e-waste disposal with primitive methods, posing serious risks to environmental and human health.
  • Incredibly, on a global basis, only 13% of e-waste is recycled.
  • The US only recycled 66% of its millions of equipment in 2010 (MIT Study). So the devices not recycled ended up in Hong Kong, Latin America, and the Caribbean. Why? Because it’s cheap to export your problem to poor countries.
  • The e-waste problem is huge. In the UK alone, nearly 500,000 tons of electronic waste e-waste goes unaccounted for every year. So huge quantities of hazardous waste are being illegally disposed of. Most of it is being exported to developing countries through the black market.

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InnoVent is the leading UK Asset and Lease Management Specialist for New and Refurbished IT equipment.

We have one aim: reduce our clients' total cost of IT ownership. 

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