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News | 2021-01-24

Circular Electronics Day promotes life-extension of IT products

January 24 is Circular Electronics Day – a global initiative aimed to raise awareness of the environmental benefits of giving electronics products a longer life. This year, 21 organizations are behind the initiative, including IVL, Chalmers Industriteknik, Inrego, Lenovo, Recipo and TCO Development.

– With Circular Electronics Day, we want to inspire and show examples of how consumers and organizations through quite simple decisions can participate and contribute to better sustainability, says Alexandra Wu, IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute.

The rapid consumption of electronic products gives rise to large amounts of waste and harmful emissions. Toxic e-waste is accumulating at the record rate of 50 million metric tonnes every year. This equals the weight of nearly 4,500 Eiffel towers or 8.3 Pyramids of Giza. Adding to the problem, e-waste is often handled in unsafe ways, leading to human health problems and environmental degradation.

Ensuring that products and materials are used longer is the single most effective thing we can do to save resources and to reduce the amount of e-waste. The decisions made before a product is purchased have the greatest effect. While large corporate and public sector IT buyers are used to including sustainability factors when buying computers and other devices, not all consumers are aware of what actions they can take.

The organizations behind Circular Electronics Day want everyone to know that smart choices on what to buy and how to manage your products throughout their life, can make a big difference for the environment, human health and also save money.

There are a number of things everyone can do. On the Circular Electronics Day website External link, opens in new window., these best practices have been made available together with an informational quiz, designed to help people in taking the first step.

For more information, please contact:
Alexandra Wu, alexandra.wu@ivl.se, +46 (0)10-788 68 86
Tova Andersson, tova.andersson@ivl.se, +46 (0)10-788 67 96

Five ways to manage your IT products in a circular way

  • Extend the life of your IT products. This is the single most important thing you can do to reduce the environmental footprint of your IT use. Upgrade and repair your products so they last longer. Used products are in high demand, so make use of the second-hand market and buy and sell your products there.
  • If you need to buy a new product, choose products that carry a sustainability certification that includes robust criteria and requires third-party verification.
  • Choose a durable product that can last longer. Avoid buying unrepairable electronics that you may risk having to throw away after a short usage time.
  • Climate compensate the e-waste footprint of your new product, either by recycling a product with a similar footprint or by purchasing the offsetting as a service.
  • Don’t throw it out! Electronics contain valuable resources that can be reused. If it’s not possible to reuse or sell your old products, take them to an electronics recycler or refurbisher where they will be handled responsibly.

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