The WEEE Forum has announced that the UN agency responsible for ICT issues, ITU, will be a partner in this year’s International E-Waste Day being marked on 14th October to raise awareness of global e-waste issues and encourage its proper disposal.
ITU’s position as the global enabler for information and communication technologies and networks means that it has a huge influence on global IT use and uses this to empower people through striving to connect underserved communities worldwide. The organisation’s commitment to improving lives means it is a natural partner for the International E-Waste Day as the organisation recognises the detrimental effect that irresponsible disposal and treatment has on society and individuals.
Houlin Zhao, ITU Secretary-General, said, “ITU has contributed for a number of years to the Global E-Waste Monitor which has as its main aim the improvement and collection of worldwide e-waste statistics. This research has highlighted the expanding volume of e-waste and the relatively low recycling rates for this important waste stream. International E-Waste Day takes action to address these issues and so becoming a partner in this campaign was an easy decision for ITU.”
Pascal Leroy, Director General of the WEEE Forum added, “ITU is a global influencer in the ICT market and we are really happy that they will be on board for this year’s International E-Waste Day. Their reach will enable our message to get to a much wider audience, increase its impact and, hopefully, further change attitudes towards e-waste.”
International E-Waste Day was established by the WEEE Forum and its members to address the rising global e-waste issue. According to the UN, only around 20% of global e-waste is recycled each year, which means that approximately 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.
Raising awareness of this challenge is the key goal of the initiative and organisations across the world are invited to join the growing International E-Waste Day network and undertake activities to achieve this aim. To date 81 organisations from 41 countries have registered their activities and the organisers anticipate that this number will continue to grow. The activities these organisations will undertake on the day range from social media campaigns and educational days to conferences and e-waste collections.
The WEEE Forum a.i.s.b.l. is an international association speaking for 36 not-for-profit e-waste producer responsibility organisations (PROs). Our mission is to help the PROs succeed operationally, take back and report e-waste efficiently and be known as members of the world’s foremost e-waste competence centre and as promoters of a circular economy. We engage in the general debate on e-waste policy matters, in Europe and globally.
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