This week on Ours to Protect, show producer Ethna Quirke chatted with Padraig Power at Refurbed to discuss their work in the sustainable electronic sphere and how the company aims to tackle the huge problem of E Waste, through their work in refurbishing old electrical items.
What is e-waste? E-waste is one of the fastest growing waste streams in the EU and less than 40% is recycled. Electronic devices and electrical equipment define modern life. From washing machines and vacuum cleaners to smartphones and computers, it is hard to imagine life without them. But the waste they generate has become an obstacle to EU efforts to reduce its ecological footprint.
Electronic and electrical waste, or e-waste, covers a variety of different products that are thrown away after use.
- Large household appliances, such as washing machines and electric stoves, are the most collected, making up more than half of all collected e-waste.
- This is followed by IT and telecommunications equipment (laptops, printers), consumer equipment and photovoltaic panels (video cameras, fluorescent lamps) and small household appliances (vacuum cleaners, toasters).
- All other categories, such as electrical tools and medical devices, together make up just 7.2% of the collected e-waste.
Where do I start?
WEEE Ireland has been operational since 2005 and has been the Scheme of choice in Ireland maintaining majority market share across all sectors. WEEE Ireland operates under the approval of the Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications.
WEEE Ireland represents 96% of the Irish battery industry and 74% of the household electrical and electronic industry who have a Producer responsibility under EU Battery Directive 2006/66/EC & WEEE Directive 2012/19/EU to organise and finance the environmental management of their products at their end of life.
When you buy an electrical product from Refurbed, you not only buy a recycled protect, the company also plants a tree for every item purchased, actively reducing electronic waste while reforesting woodland and reducing CO₂ emissions.