Circular Electronics Day

Circular Electronics Day: Campaign provides tips for IT product life extension

Circular Electronics Day will take place on 24 January, this year, with more than 20 organisations directing their support to a campaign which aims to inspire people and businesses to buy and manage their electronics in a circular way.

The annual campaign, which is run by several not-for-profits, tech suppliers and other eco-focused groups, exists to encourage more people to change their approach to IT to help extend product life and prevent toxic e-waste.

The organisations behind Circular Electronics Day, including TCO Development, Lenovo and Dell, are promoting how better IT purchasing decision and management can make a big difference for the environment and save people money.

Clare Hobby, from TCO Development, one of Circular Electronics Day’s founding organisations, commented: “Whether you’re buying for 10,000 employees or just for yourself, our hands-on tips and best practices are here to help show that it’s actually easy to do the right thing and get more circular with your computers and other digital devices.”

Top tips

According to the campaign, the single most important thing people or companies can do to reduce the environmental footprint of their IT use is to upgrade and repair products so they last longer, rather than throwing them away when they malfunction.

It also suggests that when choosing products, it is essential to go for those carrying a sustainability certification that includes robust criteria and requires third-party verification.

Those behind Circular Electronics Day also advise opting for durable products that can last longer, avoiding unrepairable electronics, and compensating for the e-waste footprint of a new product by either recycling an item with a similar footprint or by purchasing ‘offsetting as a service’.

And during the month where more retalers across the UK now have to provide facilities to take back used electricals and dispose of them responsibly, the circular campaign calls on people to use these recycling services.

“This year, we want Circular Electronics Day to highlight real-life examples of how organisations and consumers alike contribute to building a circular economy by managing their IT products,” Hobby explained.

“By using the social media hashtag #CircularElectronicsDay you can join the conversation. Everyone can do something. Engage your organisation in a positive way by asking for more sustainable electronic products or start with your own electronics use.”

The companies and groups behind Circular Electronics Day 2021 are, as follows: 3stepIT, ATEA, Chalmers Industriteknik, Closing the Loop, Dell, Dustin, ETIRA, European Remanufacturing Council, Godsinlösen, Greenlyfocus, iFixit, Inrego, International Institute for Industrial Environmental Economics, IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute, Lenovo, Recipo, Smithereens, TCO Development, Towards Zero Waste, Tradera and WEEE Forum.

As of 1 January 2021, retailers selling more than £100,000 worth of electronics equipment each year are now obliged under Waste Electric and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) Regulations to take back used electricals in their stores, or provide alternative locations for this to happen.

Previously, retailers who sold electrical goods could pay a fee which covered their recycling obligations under the distributor take-back scheme (known as the DTS). This payment found its way to local authorities to fund WEEE collection facilities at their household waste and recycling centres.

Read more about retailers’ green efforts on Green Retail World

[Image credit: TCO Certified]

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