International E-Waste Day

It is estimated that 50 million tonnes of e-waste were generated globally in 2018. Half of this is personal devices such as computers, screens, smartphones, tablets and TVs, with the remainder being larger household appliances and heating and cooling equipment.

International E-Waste Day was developed in 2018 by the WEEE Forum with the support of its members. The day is used to raise the public profile of e-waste recycling and encourage consumers to recycle their e-waste with the resulting increase in e-waste recycling rates on the day itself and into the future.

The second International E-Waste Day will take place on 14 October 2019. If you would like to be part of this please register your activity to join the International E-waste Day community. This will enable you to have your activity displayed on our world map and further details available on our website, benefit from the visuals we have produced to promote the day and link with the many other organisations involved.

On the first International E-Waste Day in 2018, members of the WEEE Forum and external stakeholders joined the initiative, resulting in a total of more than 50 organisations from over 40 different countries worldwide being involved.  Initiatives undertaken in 2018 included:

  • Conferences and events;
  • School collection days;
  • Information campaigns in stores and recycling centres;
  • On-line guide for proper e-waste disposal;
  • Circular Economy games for schools; and
  • Social media competitions.
International E Waste Social Media Forum Grn AW

All of these were promoted locally on and around the International E-waste Day. Consumers are key to e-waste recycling and we have high aspirations that this campaign can have a huge impact on their habits.

Only 20% of global e-waste is recycled each year, which means that 40 million tonnes of e-waste are either placed in landfill, burned or illegally traded and treated in a sub-standard way and this is despite 66% of the world’s population being covered by e-waste legislation. This results in the huge loss of valuable and critical raw materials from the supply chain and causes serious health, environmental and societal issues through illegal shipments of waste to developing countries.

Even in the EU, which leads the world in e-waste recycling, only 35% of e-waste is officially reported as collected and recycled and the lack of public awareness is preventing countries from developing circular economies for electronic equipment.