WasteAid and musicMagpie join forces to tackle e-waste

A giant Mount Rushmore-style sculpture of the G7 leaders’ heads, made entirely of discarded electronics, has appeared on a beach near Carbis Bay in Cornwall on the day of the G7 summit (11 June).

Mount RecyclemoreThe ‘Mount Recyclemore’ sculpture, created by musicMagpie, artist and founder of the Mutoid Waste Company Joe Rush and sculptor Alex Wreckage, depicts world leaders including British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, American President Joe Biden and German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

The initiative forms part of a campaign spearheaded by musicMagpie and environmental charity WasteAid to tackle the growing problem of e-waste, with musicMagpie donating £1 to WasteAid for each piece of tech traded on its recommerce platform throughout June.

Donations will be used to fund WasteAid’s sustainable e-waste management programmes in lower-income countries, which help educate communities on how to recycle e-waste safely, create employment opportunities and keep materials in the loop.

WasteAid has warned if the e-waste problem continues, the availability of rare metals will dwindle – meaning supplies of items such as disc drives, circuit boards, solar panels and electric vehicle batteries will be affected.

As a result, the charity has pushed for e-waste recycling to be made compulsory, in order to preserve resources needed to make low-carbon technology.

Ceris Turner-Bailes, CEO of WasteAid, said: “A green economy relies on the availability of resources to make low-carbon technology.

“While low income countries don’t produce anywhere near as much e-waste as we do in the UK, safe recycling facilities are few and far between.

“Dumped e-waste harms the environment, as well as being a waste of vital and valuable resources.

“Thanks to musicMagpie, WasteAid will be able to develop e-waste guidance for communities and policymakers to recycle e-waste safely, help create employment opportunities and keep materials in the loop.”

Steve Oliver, Founder and CEO of musicMagpie, added: “E-waste is a growing problem worldwide and its impact on the environment is significant.

“If sent to landfills, e-waste can leak harmful chemicals into the soil and water or if incinerated, fumes release chemicals into the air, contributing to global warming.

“Not only this, but everything from our phones to our laptops rely heavily on precious materials to operate, which are not only limited resources, but also directly impact climate change when being extracted from the earth.

“We need to better educate and empower people to make changes today. People can support a more sustainable, circular economy, by doing something as simple as trading in or recycling their tech, which will extend the life of those devices and their parts.

“Thanks to our customers, we are already able to give nearly half a million consumer technology products a second life each year.”

You can read more about the Mount Recyclemore project on the musicMagpie website.