Why fix something when you can throw it away? Poles are extremely wasteful

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Electronic waste is a big problem.

Electronic waste, i.e. waste electrical and electrical equipment, is a serious problem. They are often not properly utilized, which is harmful to the environment, and the materials used to create them are simply wasted while they could be useful in building new equipment. Unfortunately, the amount of this waste in the world is constantly growing, among others, Poles.

According to a report by Stena Recycling prepared on the basis of a survey of users of electrical and electronic equipment, one in two Poles admits that after a failure of electronic equipment, he prefers to buy a new device instead of repairing it. Well, if that's the case, it's no wonder that, according to various estimates, the level of electro-waste production could reach 12 to 15 million tonnes next year.

"A quarter of the electrowaste produced annually in the world is generated in European Union countries. We must reduce the level of this waste. One way is to extend the life of electrical and electronic devices. It is also necessary to increase the level of recycling and processing of this fraction. Specialized companies and processing facilities should recover this type of material. Only in this way will we effectively recover raw materials, thanks to which we will reduce the use of natural resources."- comments Wojciech Wroński, expert Stena Recycling.

But what is the reason that so many people do not decide to repair their devices? 40% of respondents said that it simply does not pay. Had the equipment not been damaged, 89% of respondents would have liked to use it much longer. At the same time, 69% of respondents claim that manufacturers intentionally reduce the uptime of their products.

Respondents also stated that they have to replace small electronic devices very often, once every 2-3 years. The reason for the necessity of replacement is usually the degree of damage to the equipment, which does not allow further use. Less often, because every 4 – 6 years, respondents exchange medium-sized devices, i.e. vacuum cleaners or irons. Washing machines, refrigerators and TV sets have only been exchanging about 10 years. Equipment replaced due to a failure goes to a collection point, while functional devices are returned to family or friends.

household appliances

Fortunately, most Poles know how to handle waste electrical and electronic equipment. 79% of respondents return for ecological labels on packaging, and 62% are aware of the fact that electronics and household appliances contain toxic and hazardous substances, and therefore potentially harmful to the environment. 73% of respondents know that in Poland the rules for the collection and processing of electro-waste are regulated by relevant provisions.

Perhaps the reduction in the level of electro-waste production will be affected by new European Union regulations (the so-called Ekoprojekt), which will enter into force at the beginning of next year. These will oblige manufacturers to extend the warranty period for electronic devices, facilitate access to spare parts, as well as create more energy-efficient equipment and to a greater extent than can be recycled. The regulation will also change the markings on large home appliances. Thanks to them, customers should know how long their new product should work and what its impact on the environment will be.

Source: Stena Recycling