One of the greatest modern day challenges is preventing unnecessary e-waste. There are many ways to ensure every component used in electronics is put to further use. Repairing, refurbishing and recycling electronics are the standard principles of the burgeoning circular economy. The process has many advantages for the environment, the economy, and health.
What is Electronic Waste?
E-waste refers to discarded electronics such as smartphones, laptops and tablets. They contribute to the 50 million tons of global e-waste that are produced every year. By establishing a circular economy, these products can provide further use for many years. However, according to recent research by Eurostat, only around 30% of e-waste is recycled in the EU alone.
How does Recycling Electronics Work?
Electronics that cannot be reused or refurbished, are recycled. This lengthy process begins with dismantling the products and sorting their components into categories. Any of these spare parts that are potentially reusable are salvaged. They are then repaired by experienced technicians in order to supply refurbished products with components that are in complete working order. Parts that contain hazardous waste are extracted for responsible disposal by an ITAD company. Any remaining components within the e-waste are crushed in machinery. Large magnets help separate metals before the residue is categorised further for recycling.
Growing Problems of Electronic Waste
Sending unwanted e-waste to landfill sites through the regular household waste collection is irresponsible. It contains valuable and hazardous materials. These impact on the environment in multiple ways. For instance, mining for gold is still carried out at the rate of around 2,000 tons per year. It’s a valuable resource that will eventually run out. According to a United States Geological Survey, there may be around 50,000 tons remaining in the earth, which could represent approximately 20% of the gold already mined. Gold is an essential material in electronic products. By endorsing the circular economy, such valuable resources can be left in situ.
What is Circular Economy Contributing to the Environment?
The circular economy of repair, reuse and recycle is helping to protect the environment. Whenever an electronic item is misguidedly sent to a landfill site, it poses a threat to the environment and subsequently health. Hazardous substances such as mercury, lead, cadmium and beryllium gradually leak out from e-waste and contaminate soil and groundwater. Every ITAD company that operates within the circular economy saves these substances from harming the environment and health.
What is Circular Economy Contributing to Personal Finance?
According to Statista, approximately 277 million laptops were shipped worldwide during 2022. When newly manufactured, they will have released additional carbon emissions and used valuable raw materials. The circular economy concentrates on refurbishing existing laptops to an as new standard. Refurbished laptops in UK or elsewhere generally have extended warranties and provide excellent performance. Refurbished laptops are around 80% less expensive than when purchased new. A state-of-the-art refurbished phone may cost around 50% less than a new version.
What is the Circular Economy?
The circular economy is in direct opposition to the linear economy which produces brand-new goods. Some products such as smartphones are often discarded when they have been barely used. The circular economy ensures that these devices continue to have a useful life. For instance, choosing a refurbished phone prevents adding to landfill sites, makes use of valuable resources, and saves money.
Role of Circular Economy in Electronics Recycling
The circular economy is instrumental in recycling electronics. It’s only through every responsible ITAD company that e-waste is successfully salvaged. They ensure components are checked, repaired and reused. Whenever anyone chooses a refurbished phone or refurbished laptops, they are purchasing goods in excellent condition. In addition, electronics in the circular economy cost much less than if they were new.
The circular economy is ideal for recycling electronics. It prevents valuable resources being wasted in landfill sites and retrieves components for smartphones and refurbished laptops UK. These save money when compared to brand-new equivalents, but most importantly, they protect the environment, safeguard health, and provide reliable service.