It’s no longer in any doubt that the scale of artificial waste created by humans across the globe is having a devastating impact on the planet we inhabit.

For many years, the effects of our consumption have been out of sight out of mind, but we are increasingly being made aware of just how harmful plastic and electronic products can be for our environment if not disposed of properly.

Electronic Waste

Much of the negative press surrounding the environmental impact of non-recycled waste focuses on plastic, and while the role of that material in causing environmental pollution is not in dispute, we should be equally mindful of the harmful impact of electronic waste on the environment.

A recent study by the United Nations University found that a staggering 44.7 million tonnes of e-waste was generated in 2016, representing an 8% rise from 2014 (41.4 million MT). Such astronomic numbers are hard to fathom. To put it into perspective, the e-waste generated in 2016 is equivalent in weight to almost nine Great Pyramids of Giza or 4,500 Eiffel Towers. If the world’s e-waste were loaded in to the back of 18-wheel 40-ton trucks, there would be enough to form a line from New York to Bangkok and back again!

In the UK, this equates to around 55 lbs of e-waste per person a year. The problem is magnified here as much of the waste goes straight into landfill, due to the inadequacies of our current recycling infrastructure.

As things stand, the outlook for the future of e-waste is not positive, with experts foreseeing a further 17% increase to to 52.2 million metric tonnes of e-waste, by 2021. This makes e-waste the ‘fastest growing part of the world’s domestic waste stream’.

The Case for Refurbished IT

Of the 44.7 million tonnes of e-waste generated in 2016, 3.9 million metric tonnes was made up of ‘Small IT and telecommunication equipment’, constituting mobile phones, global positioning systems (GPS), pocket calculators, routers, personal computers, printers, telephones. Businesses typically have a high turnover of such equipment, and it is here that we can make an impact together by being more mindful of the environmental consequences of our business choices.

A great way to reduce your businesses’ environmental impact is to consider buying refurbished, rather than new IT equipment. By buying refurbished IT equipment, your business can help to reduce pollution caused by mining; reduce pollution caused by improperly recycled e-waste; and to reduce the demand on the earth’s natural resources.

Moving beyond the very real environmental benefits of buying refurbished IT equipment, there are a number of highly practical use cases for when it may simply be more convenient to consider refurbished over new. Such circumstances include, but are not limited to: temporary or seasonal office expansion; short term projects which require an increase in IT equipment; and mid lifecycle equipment top up.

With over 22 years industry experience, EOL IT Services are proud to be the UK’s most accredited ITAD supplier. We possess the skills, accreditations and experience to handle our clients’ data with the care they deserve, and to dispose of it responsibility and legally.

Contact us today on 0845 600 4696 or visit https://www.eolitservices.co.uk/services/it-asset-disposal/ to find out how we can help you dispose of your data safely and reliably.

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