The weight of the world’s electronic junk is heavier than the Great Wall of China.
Mark your calendar: October 14 is International E-Waste Day.
Any kind of discarded electronic devices, such as cell phones, computers, keyboards, game consoles, TVs, and household appliances, qualify as e-waste.
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In the U.S. alone, people toss at least 151 million phones in the trash every year — a practice that can cause hazardous and toxic chemicals to seep into the environment.
A European nonprofit called the WEEE Forum started E-Waste day in 2018.
Its purpose is to raise awareness of the colossal amount of devices people trash every year, and to provide resources for proper ways to dispose of old electronics.
This growing crisis poses a threat to our environmental wellbeing — toxic waste can contaminate water and soil, cause illness, and contribute to carbon emissions.
Here are 6 shocking e-waste facts that you probably didn’t know:
And in France alone, there are an estimated 54 to 113 million mobile phones sitting in drawers and storage spaces, unused.
Those discarded electronics make up 40% of heavy metals in landfills today.
The total weight of all e-waste is 63.3 million tons. The Great Wall weighs in at 58 million tons.
That growth is attributed to shorter lifecycles for new electronic devices, and limited options for people to repair their devices on their own.
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By recycling or repairing your electronics, you can extend their life cycle and reduce the amount of impact you have on the environment.
1. Only 17.4 percent of all e-waste worldwide was properly recycled in 2019.
In the U.S., E-Waste recycling programs vary state-to-state.
This EPA page can get you started with links to your region’s hazardous waste disposal services.