REPIC and Recycle Your Electricals partner for International E-Waste Day


REPIC poster for Recycle Your Electricals campaign

REPIC, the UK’s largest WEEE compliance scheme, is leading the charge in the UK on International E-Waste Day (IEWD), with Recycle Your Electricals lending its voice, to encourage consumers to keep their unwanted and working small electrical devices in circulation for longer. 

The aim of the collaboration is to deliver a consistent voice and branded message to consumers about responsibly recycling their end-of-life electricals. The focus of REPIC’s participation is on highlighting the extent of hoarding of these electrical appliances, while encouraging homeowners to dispose of them via existing collection points or the new pop-up collection sites. Both organisations hope to use this campaign as a springboard to encourage the WEEE sector to deliver a collective impact annually.

Timed to coincide with IEWD (14 October), which is led by the WEEE Forum to raise the public profile of e-waste recycling and encourage consumers to recycle their e-waste and the rearranged Recycle Week (17-23 October). REPIC has worked with a managing agent to establish dedicated e-waste consumer pop-up collections and employee ‘bring your e-waste to work’ collections to help tackle the hoarding of end-of-life small electricals.

The combined efforts for IEWD have ensured that the UK continues to communicate under one brand message and identity, while supporting the focus of the WEEE Forum’s campaign to deliver practical solutions for consumers to “Recycle it all no matter how small” – the theme of this year’s campaign.

The collaborative call comes as the WEEE Forum’s International E-Waste Day survey reveals that the UK is the third worst offending country, behind Netherlands and Italy respectively, for hoarding used, unused and broken small kitchen and household equipment, laptops and tablets.

According to UK research commissioned by REPIC for IEWD, UK households are holding on to more IT equipment than any other small appliances and gadgets. A staggering 11.7 million laptops and 9.17 million tablets that either have the potential to be passed on or recycled, both featured in the five most hoarded items, in first and third place respectively.

Completing the top five most hoarded items – which could be either passed on and those that could be recycled – USB sticks, kettles and printers/scanners all ranked highly.

The survey also revealed that a combined 39.3 million IT devices – which equates to the equivalent of 1.4 unused IT products per household – have the potential to be passed on or recycled.

This makes up a staggering 20.7 million IT products that are working and not used – worth £4.2 billion – hoarded in UK households, 13 million IT products that are definitely not working and 5.3 million IT products that households don’t know if they are working. Products recorded as IT devices included laptops, tablets, printers/scanners, desktop computers and external hard drives.

Louise Grantham, Chief Executive, REPIC, adds: “As part of the UK’s transition towards a circular economy, it is important consumers understand the value in recycling end-of-life electricals for reuse, refurbishment and remanufacturing of the secondary raw materials into new products.

“In an ideal world, every unwanted hair care product, toaster, food blender and kettle would either be used again if it has not reached the end of its useful life, or given a new lease of life through an official recycling system. In the majority of cases, the precious materials recovered from these end-of-life appliances can be redesigned into new goods, while reducing the need to mine for virgin materials.

“The stark reality is that many small electricals end up hoarded away in our homes, out of sight and mind and their precious materials lost or worse still, discarded in the household’s bins and ending up in landfill.”

Scott Butler, Executive Director of Material Focus, adds: “International E-waste Day is an important moment in time to highlight that electrical waste is one of the fastest growing sources of waste in the world, and how consumers can take action.”

To find out more about REPIC, visit its website.