In their new five year plan launched today, ‘Resource Revolution: Creating the Future’, WRAP set out how they will work with businesses, government and consumers to address our consumption of products and services. Electric and electronic goods are one of the three areas of focus, alongside food and drink and clothing. WRAP say these areas together account for 25 per cent of the UK’s carbon footprint, 80 per cent of the UK’s water footprint, and 40 per cent of UK household waste.
For electronics and electricals (or WEEE), the focus is informed by WRAP’s findings that UK householders have around £1billion worth of unused electrical and electronic equipment in their homes. Less than 10% of discarded items are re-used, and nearly 40% of these products end up in a landfill.
The report says annual UK retail sales of electrical goods reach £21 billion – equivalent to over £800 for each UK household. These goods represent 160 million tonnes of global carbon emissions and 1.4 million tonnes of material, including 63 tonnes of precious metals like gold and silver. For the electrical and electronics sector WRAP’s 2020 goals are to:
reduce the carbon, water and waste footprint of electricals and electronic products
work with industry to develop smarter, more resource-efficient products and services
increase value through more re-use and recycling.
Overarching aims of the plan include:
- increase the number of people who recycle ‘all they can on every occasion’
- reduce the carbon, water and waste footprint of electricals and electronic products
- work with industry to develop ‘smarter, more resource-efficient products and services
To achieve these goals the plan is encouraging all sectors to adopt three “R”s:
- reinventing how we design, produce and sell products
- rethinking how we use and consume products
- redefining what is possible through reuse and recycling
WRAP says it will achieve these ambitions by developing the evidence and business case for change to reduce waste arisings, delivering industry-leading voluntary agreements, running effective consumer campaigns, and measuring impact to improve targeted action.
Vikkie Fitzgerald, Project Manager at Clarity, said “I have read the WRAP report with interest, and welcome the news that electrical and electronic goods are a focus for the coming years. Clarity runs both a WEEE compliance scheme for producers of electrical and electronic equipment (EEE), and a recycling initiative for the end-users of these products. We have developed a UK-wide recycling network of sites, primarily aimed at reusing or recycling EEE from households.”
To find out how Clarity can help you recycle your electrical and electronic waste head to http://www.recyclewithclarity.com if you are a householder.
If you are a business please contact our WEEE compliance team on 0845 129 7177 or firstname.lastname@example.org