Monday, April 15, 2024

New compensation program to fight against the flood of toxic e-waste

Every year, there are thousands of tons of toxic e-waste, i.e., old televisions, outdated smartphones, discarded computers, etc. are thrown away illegally, especially in less developed countries and regions. This is a huge problem for the environment and a threat to human health because the decomposition time of this type of equipment is very long and possibly end up in the food we eat and in the water we drink.

The extension of the TCO Certified Edge standard, which comes into force on March 31, will help solve this e-waste problem. By choosing to buy IT products certified according to the TCO Certified Edge criterion, E-waste Compensated, you can be sure that they will not end up in an illegal electronics dump after being thrown away. A comparable amount of this e-waste – usually in a country that is lacking in safe recycling systems – will responsibly be collected and recycled.

The collected e-waste is then transported to the recycling factory and processed according to strict, environmentally friendly rules. This not only protects the environment from hazardous substances but also create local jobs – people need to collect electronic waste and recycle it. “With TCO Certified Edge, E-Waste Compensated, we want to provide buyers and the IT industry with an effective tool to combat e-waste,” says Andreas Rehn, Development Manager at TCO Development.

Read more: Tokyo revealed designs of its recycled e-waste 2020 Olympic medals

The first company that declared its products compliant with the extended standard is the Dutch Closing the Loop. This company already has experience in the field of recycling – it dealt with used smartphones in developing countries.

Electronic waste is often seen as a problem, but it also offers opportunities for environmentally friendly procurement. Moving electronic waste to where it can be recycled responsibly can give these valuable resources a second life and keep them in the cycle of the circular economy,” says Joost de Kluijver, founder of Closing the Loop.