The second International E-Waste Day held on October 14th to promote the proper management of waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) has been hailed a huge success by its organizers, the WEEE Forum. The event brought together electronic waste stakeholders across the world to promote the correct disposal of e-waste to enable reuse and recycling. The International Telecommunication Union, the UN agency responsible for ICT, was, for the first time, a partner in the day and its global reach was important in spreading the message as widely as possible.
The WEEE Forum, an international association of e-waste collection schemes, reported that 112 organizations, which is more than double last year’s number, took part in this year’s edition. The participants came from 48 countries across 6 continents. A wide range of events from online campaigns to temporary city center collection points and conferences, a number of which enjoyed airtime on national television and radio, helped raise the public profile of e-waste and encouraged consumers and businesses to correctly dispose of their e-waste.
EU Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, Karmenu Vella said in his dedicated video message recorded for the occasion “On the 2nd International E-waste Day, we join our voices to make this great initiative known not only in Europe but worldwide. All the activities that take place around the world during this day show that electronic waste is a big issue and what we can do to reduce, reuse and recycle.”
He then continued “Electronic waste is the fastest-growing waste stream globally. It is growing at around 3-4% per year. We need to act quickly and decisively to deal with it.”
Pascal Leroy, Director General of the WEEE Forum, explained, “We are so pleased with the participation and high profile of the day. Having so many countries involved and so many different events organised surpassed our expectations. We are glad the event was so impactful, especially in the context of the next year’s mandatory collection targets in the EU, which will be impossible to reach without the involvement of all actors in the value chain, including citizens. We are confident that International E-Waste Day contributed to improving the societal awareness about the proper disposal of e-waste in those countries that implement e-waste legislation.”
The WEEE Forum is already in the process of preparing International E-Waste Day 2020 which it is confident will be bigger and better than its two predecessors.