Just as the quantity of consumer electronics produced is on the rise, so too is the rate at which it is discarded. Fortunately, the quantity of e-waste that is recycled is also increasing, albeit not as quickly as needed. However, in 2013, the amount of e-waste that was recycled more than doubled, as businesses and manufacturers have sought to provide consumers with more information on the importance of responsibly disposing of discarded electronics while helping them buy “green” electronics.
- Almost every major nationwide electronics retailer has at least one program for accepting discarded electronics directly from consumers for recycling. Retailers such as Best Buy and Staples stand out, with in-store drop-off of discarded electronics, special in-store events, mail-back programs and even online recycling options. For example, in the first quarter of 2015, Staples increased its recycling of batteries by 22.5 percent and ink cartridges by 37.4 percent, collecting over 37,000 kilograms of batteries and over 940,000 ink cartridges.
- Dell’s e-waste recycling program is the world’s largest geographically, collecting 1.4 billion pounds of electronics since it launched its program in 2007. Dell strives for a closed-loop supply chain, and the result is the recovery of 21.9 million pounds of post-consumer plastics recycled into new Dell products, an increase of 15 percent.
- Launched in 2006, EPEAT is a global rating system for electronics. Managed by the Green Electronics Council, the EPEAT label helps consumers purchase electronic devices that meet certain environmental standards throughout product lifecycle. EPEAT currently registers products in more than 43 countries and regions, and works with major retailers such as Staples, Best Buy, Amazon and more. To find out more about EPEAT and how you can spot an EPEAT-registered device, click here.
- Certifications such as e-Stewards and R2 support consumers, businesses and governments in choosing responsible recyclers. Both these certifications require recyclers maintain high occupational health and safety standards as well as abide by rigorous environmental and social regulations. To find out more about e-Stewards, click here.