Erion WEEE is the Compliance Scheme of the Erion System dedicated to the management of household Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment, and part of Erion, the leading non-profit Extended Producer Responsibility multiple Compliance Schemes System operating in Italy for the management of waste associated with electronic products and tobacco product waste. Established in 2020 from the merger of the Ecodom and Remedia consortia, Erion WEEE currently represents more than 2,500 Producers of Electrical and Electronic Equipment and ensures their commitment to the environment, the circular economy, research and technological innovation.

Technology is increasingly becoming present in the daily life. In many cases it enhances it, but people are often unable to handle it correctly, especially in the final phase of its life cycle when it becomes waste. This not only gives rise to environmental issues that affect the natural balance of our planet, but also represents a significant loss of opportunity for any country. The Living Resource docufilm aims to raise people’s awareness and create consciousness around issues related to the environment, such as recycling and resource management (with a specific focus on Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment), the circular economy, climate change and climate neutrality.

Erion investigated the good and bad habits of Italians on environmental practices, focusing on the increasingly pressing problem related to the collection of WEEE, which, according to the Global E-waste Monitor, is the fastest growing type of waste in the world (more than 74 million tonnes of it will be generated in 2030, an increase three times faster than the growth of the world’s population). This has become a real emergency, given that most e-waste ends up outside the regulated waste streams: millions of tonnes continue to escape the formal documented collection and recovery processes. A problem that also involves Italy, which with about 6 kg of collection per capita is still far below the collection targets imposed by the European Union (at least 10 kg per inhabitant).

The docufilm therefore aims to reach the widest possible audience through:

  • simplification of content often considered by citizens too technical, which will instead be rendered intuitive in a more simple and pop way;
  • a cast made up of public figures, who through their popularity can attract attention by representing a virtuous example to follow;
  • an outreach program involving the major mainstream channels: television (aring on Rai 3 and available on Rai Play) and social media (with original and engaging content);
  • a film premiere on 10 May 2023 at the Ambra Jovinelli Theatre in Rome in the presence of the people involved in the docufilm, institutions and the press;
  • making available, free of charge, the docufilm at school circuits throughout Italy.

WHY A DOCUFILM ON THE CIRCULAR ECONOMY AND WEEE?

It is estimated that more than 400,000 tonnes of household WEEE are unaccounted for in Italy, i.e. almost 3 million large appliances (white goods like refrigerators, air conditioners, washing machines etc…) and more than 400 million small appliances and devices (such as mobile phones, microwaves, electric toothbrushes, electronic games, radios etc…). Appliances and equipment that are not properly recycled, leading to a loss that has a significant impact on Italy, even more so in a period of severe resource shortage like the current one. In fact, if Italians were able to intercept all the WEEE that is dispersed today and send it for proper treatment, an additional 380,000 tonnes of raw materials could be recycled, including 209,000 tonnes of iron, 18,000 tonnes of copper, 14,000 tonnes of aluminium and 106,000 tonnes of plastic.

Where does all this WEEE end up? Much of it end up in the wrong hands, in parallel markets operated by entities that seek to maximize their profits by extracting the easiest materials without caring about the environmental impact of their actions. A large amount of WEEE is also ‘lost’ due to the inappropriate behaviour of citizens who are not aware of the importance of making proper separate collection of this waste.

These considerations gave rise to the need to invest in the production of this docufilm, so that Italians, especially younger ones, understand that WEEE cannot be disposed of as municipal waste or left abandoned in a junk drawer, garage or basement. A change of perspective to make people understand that the actions of all of us have a direct influence and that when we talk about WEEE, no matter how small, we are talking about important raw materials that could be recycled and reused in new production cycles with all the positive effects that this implies.

According to the various analyses carried out by Ipsos as part of the “WEEE Knowledge Observatory” commissioned by Erion WEEE to monitor citizens’ awareness levels, it has emerged that there is an important information gap on the subject of WEEE and that Italians’ homes are full of appliances and equipment that are now disused or broken. On average, each citizen has 9 of them: 81% say they have at least one at home that is still working but unused, and 61% keep it even if it is broken (for 33% of them it is old mobile phones, for 23% it is battery chargers, and for 17% it is laptops). The main reason? 39% think they can repair it, while 30% think they can use it as spare parts, 23% still say they do not know the proper disposal procedure, and 15% have difficulty reaching a collection point.

In addition, among those who have disposed of at least one WEEE in the past 12 months (63% of respondents) 1 in 6 say they did so in an unsuitable way by throwing it in the garbage bag, the street bin or the container for the plastic. At the top for improper disposal, there are hair dryers (22%), toasters and blenders (20%) and phone chargers (18%). This is despite the fact that 79% say they know the environmental risks and consequences of inappropriate disposal of WEEE.

Young people are the least concerned age group. Gen Z (18-26 years old) collect more WEEE than the average Italian: 89%, in fact, say they have at least one electrical or electronic device that is now disused and 73% say they have not disposed of it even if it is broken. Low, too, is the level of knowledge and awareness on the subject: only 26% of young people know what the acronym WEEE means and 32% still do not know the critical environmental issues related to improper management of this waste. An information gap that leads to serious consequences: 4 out of 10 young people say they have disposed of their battery chargers improperly.

There is, however, a positive note. In fact, it is precisely Italians who are asking for more information, with 35% of them wishing to see more communication campaigns.

THE CAST

The participation of celebrities and national and international experts has the objective to inform and raise awareness across all generations on these issues and to discuss and reflect together on what can be done to reverse this trend. For this reason, in fact, the cast is made up of people from different fields (television, music, internet, sport, science, art, cooking, etc.) and representative of different age groups.

The environmental and constructive message of Living Resource is to find as soon as possible – before it is too late – a balance between technology and our planet.

FRANCESCO ARCA – Actor

GIORGIO ARIENTI – Erion WEEE General Manager

MARCELLO ASCANI – Youtuber

CARLO CONTI – TV host

EMILIO COZZI – Journalist and author

TAMARA DONÀ – Actress, TV and radio host

ALESSANDRO DEL PIERO – Former professional footballer

FRANCESCO DE TOMMASI – Public Prosecutor’s Office, Milan

MARICA DI PIERRI – Editor-in-chief EconomiaCircolare.com, journalist and co-founder of the Centre for Documentation on Environmental Conflicts (CDCA)

FRANCESCA FIALDINI – Journalist and TV host

SERENA GIACOMIN – Physicist, meteorologist and Italian Climate Network President

IRENE GRANDI – Singer

JAGO  – Sculptor

FABRIZIO LONGONI – WEEE Clearing House General Manager

FEDERICA PELLEGRINI – Former Olympic swimmer

SONIA PERONACI – Cook, writer, TV host and blogger

LUCA PERRI – Astrophysicist and science communicator

SUSAN SARANDON – Actress and environmental activist

VITTORIO SGARBI – Art critic and Undersecretary of State at the Ministry of Culture

LORENZO TAVAZZI – The European House – Ambrosetti Partner

TORMENTO – Singer

MATTIA TERUZZI – Sustainability specialist and science communicator

SHAILENE WOODLEY – Actress and environmental activist

and many others …

 

 

 

About

The WEEE Forum a.i.s.b.l. is an international association representing 51 producer responsibility organisations across the globe. Together with our members, we are at the forefront of turning the extended producer responsibility principle into an effective electronic waste management policy approach through our combined knowledge of the technical, business and operational aspects of collection, logistics, de-pollution, processing, preparing for reuse and reporting of e-waste. Our mission is to be the world’s foremost e-waste competence centre excelling in the implementation of the circularity principle.

Transparency Register ID 702397445-73.

Copyright 2019 All Rights Reserved

Privacy Policy

Contact

BluePoint conference and
business centre
Boulevard Auguste Reyerslaan 80
B-1030 Brussels
Belgium

Newsletter

Subscribe to our mailing list to get the updates to your email inbox.