Right to Repair — How You Can Help Fix the E-Waste Crisis

If you’ve ever watched Marie Kondo, you know that electronics make up a big part of your home decor.

Whether we like it or not, we’re awash in electronics that are connected to nearly every part of our lives. If you haven’t considered the cost of these electronic appliances, now is the time to do it.

Why?

Because your home is likely producing a lot of electronic waste (often called “e-waste”).

While you’re probably already recycling the typical household items like plastics, cardboard boxes, etc, you’re perhaps not recycling those electronics. What happens to them when you upgrade to that new phone or laptop? Where do they end up?

Here’s an alarming statistic to help answer the question: We are producing 50 million tons of electronic waste each year. Even worse, that number is growing.

The team at Adepem put together this revealing infographic that demonstrates the global scale of e-waste. Along with some sobering statistics about e-waste, there are also some helpful solutions regarding what can be done through recycling and reusing our electronics.

The good news: Nearly 100% of electronics are recyclable.

The bads news: We currently only recycling around 20% of electronics.

Despite the amount of work to be done on e-waste, there’s some great news for consumers here. They will save a lot of money through better management of electronics. When they shift to repairing and reusing electronics, the difference in cost can be staggering. For example, a refrigerator averages $290 to repair while it can cost up to $8000 to replace on the high end.

Finally, governments, industry, and everyday citizens are coming together to solve the problem of e-waste. Many regions are passing “right to repair” legislation that makes it easier for people to reuse and recycle their electronic goods. The bottom line here is that all of these groups are realizing that they have a crucial part to play in reducing electronic waste.

A big driver of the e-waste crisis is that it is very easy for people to upgrade their electronic device (by purchasing a new one) rather than reusing, recycling, or repairing existing devices. New right to repair laws and initiatives are being set up to change that dynamic by requiring companies to offer consumers better options for reusing and recycling electronics products.

So let’s recap: Consumers save. Businesses and governments cooperate. The environment is made cleaner.

Right to repair sure seems like a win for everyone involved.


e-waste is a global concern

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