In the past two months, Apple, Google and Samsung have all unveiled their newest smartphones and other devices with the goal of getting consumers to upgrade ahead of the holidays. But in the process, these and other companies may also be adding to a growing problem: electronic waste.
The limited lifespan of many tech gadgets combined with few options to fix older devices, have caused the issue of e-waste to surge over the years. United Nation’s data indicates the world generated a staggering 53.6 million metric tons of e-waste in 2019, and only 17.4% of that was recycled.
Friday marks International E-Waste Day, an annual opportunity to reflect on the impacts of electronic waste and do more to repair or recycle them. The Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEE) Forum, a Brussels-based nonprofit that has spearheaded the occasion since 2018, said the focus this year is on taking action with the small bits of e-waste many people may unintentionally hoard, including your old cell phone, headphones, remote controls and computer mouse.