49 Million Tons of E-Waste Were Generated in 2012
Technology plays an increasingly large role in our everyday lives and many people constantly strive to own the latest and shiniest gadgets. But what happens to the devices once they're no longer up-to-date? Some are sold, some are properly recycled, but many just end up as e-waste. According to StEP, an initiative that advocates reduction and proper treatment of electronic waste, a record amount of 48.9 million metric tons of e-waste was generated worldwide in 2012. Every day a vast number of electrical and electronic devices end up as waste; some of them ready for scrap, others just obsolete. All this is gradually mounting up to a serious environmental problem that needs to be addressed.
Some companies (e.g. Apple) have recently introduced recycling programs to make sure that old devices are properly recycled or disposed of. Such programs typically incent the return of old devices when purchasing a new one and can make a significant contribution to reducing the e-waste problem.
Note: According to the definition used by StEP, electronic waste includes the following: large and small household appliances, IT and telecommunications equipment, consumer equipment, lighting equipment, electrical and electronic tools, toys, leisure and sports equipment, medical devices, monitoring and control instruments as well as automatic dispensers.
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