Erion, the largest Italian system for the management of waste associated with electronic products and the valorisation of the raw materials within it, on the occasion of the International E-Waste Day 2021 (and of the double first birthday of Erion and of the online magazine EconomiaCircolare.com), has commissioned Ipsos (global leader in market research) to carry research to investigate the levels of knowledge of Italians, their opinions and behaviors about WEEE, Circular Economy and Climate Change.

The study was carried out in September 2021 – on a sample of 1000 Italian citizens (from 18 to 75 years of age) through the CAWI methodology(Computer Assisted Web Interview).

The analysis showed that:

  • Less than half of Italians (44%) believe they have heard of WEEE, but when put to the test, this percentage drops further and only 36% confirm that they are informed. Another 35% admit that they do not know that the acronym WEEE stands for Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment, and about a third of them are completely uninformed; as many as one fifth of Italians do not know about the risks associated with its incorrect disposal, and about half have only a superficial knowledge which could represent a risk;
  • the one-for-one and one-for-zero take back services are still largely ignored: 35% and 55% respectively of citizens have never heard of them and, in the case of the latter service, only a small minority have used it (18%);
  • the vast majority of Italians recognize the existence of climate change and the need for rapid counteraction; however, one in four citizens is sceptical and the same percentage thinks that there is a lot more that should be prioritized;
  • interviewees also blame governments for lack of action (56%);
  • slightly better for the concept of circular economy, which is progressively gaining in understanding among Italians: 4 out of 10 believe they know it and 60% recognize its description.

“In Italians homes, the number of Electrical and Electronic Equipment no longer used or no longer functioning is still high: 67% of those interviewed say they have several of them locked in drawers or forgotten in cellars.” states Giorgio Arienti, General Manager of Erion WEEE. “It is clear that there is still a lot of work to be done in terms of awareness and communication if we want to reach the target set by Europe, i.e. an annual collection of about 10 kg/inhabitant (today we are just over 6 kg). If, on the one hand, many citizens know that they can use the recycling areas, on the other hand the habit of delivering small household appliances to be thrown away (razors, smartphones, electronic cigarettes, alarm clocks, etc.) to the shopkeepers has not spread yet.”

Read the full report here.

About

The WEEE Forum a.i.s.b.l. is an international association representing forty 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.

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