6 Tips for Reducing Electronic Waste

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Every year, more than 20 million tons of e-waste is produced which ends up in landfill worldwide.  Disposing of electronics incorrectly increases the chance of dangerous chemicals polluting the air and contaminating the soil.  The issues caused from e-waste stem from the ever-increasing volume of products produced. Fast pace technological innovation and increased usage across the world’s population means that the number of gadgets and electronics we use is likely to continue to continue to increase rapidly.

At some point all of us will have purchased a large or small electrical appliance, or even just a smart phone. After years of having these products they suddenly decide to give up on you, leaving you with the question – how do I get rid of this?


Here are a few top tips to reduce your E-Waste:

1. Donate or Sell - One of the simplest ways to manage E-Waste is to simply sell the electronics if they are in good working condition. Try Amazon or eBay to sell these items or give them to someone who needs it.

2. Recycle through Retailers - Major retailers and phone brands have in-store, online and drop-off site recycling options. They recycle computers, mobile phones and TVs. Some even let you trade your old electronics for gift cards. Ensure you ask the retailers about this whenever you are purchasing new products.

3. Use Less – It’s easy to want to purchase the newest iPhone or latest tablet or laptop without stopping to think if we really need them or not. Before buying anything new, ask yourself if you really need it. Is your current phone in good working condition, why not upgrade the software? Or repair it rather than buy a new one?

4. Take it to the Tidy Tip - If you’re strong enough and have suitable transport (beware of the risk of chemical spillage) you can take your larger items such as fridges or washing machines to the local tip to dispose of free of charge. Always check beforehand what items aren’t accepted.

5. Store Data Online – ‘Cloud Services’ are much better at reducing your environmental impact than you would think. By storing data online, you get to access your data from anywhere around the world, without the need to carry a storage device at all times. This not only offers convenience to you but reduces the need for manufacturing of new storage devices, indirectly reducing your carbon footprint and the amount of generated e-waste. 

6. Organise Electronics – Given the number of electronics that each household has on average, it’s no wonder that we forget what items we even have. Instead of buying new devices, organise your existing ones to see if you really need to buy them. For example, old mobile phones can be used as universal remotes or one of your other devices may have an unused memory stick in it.

Lights, Camera, Rubbish!

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When was the last time your business assessed the amount of waste it creates, or questioned where it goes? It’s no myth that there is an increased concern and need to reduce, reuse and recycle more.  With an estimated 13,000 items of cardboard waste disposed of each year, lots of which is from food packaging, it’s hard to imagine the vast quantities produced by businesses?

 Unique Capture, a fast pace commercial photography studio based in Milton Keynes has collaborated with Cawley’s for the last few years. The photography studio identified the huge demand from customers selling products on e-commerce platforms.  With its’ growing success, the company has worked with the likes of Argos, Amazon and online billboards doing product photography.

 

The Studio - Imagery by Unique Capture

The Studio - Imagery by Unique Capture

Many small businesses have limited choice when it comes to recycling and disposal facilities that are both practical and affordable.  One of the underlying challenges expressed by Chris King (Creative Director at Unique Capture) was the fact that they regularly received large volumes of packaged products from their clients. This results in excessive amounts of cardboard and plastic waste.  Like many of us, the team at Unique Capture found it increasingly difficult to juggle the pressures of business with the time-consuming good intention of filtering and segregating their waste for the good of the environment.

 

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We get lots and lots of products sent to us. This is because online selling is a 24/7 fast paced business and it would be impossible for our clients to physically come into the studio on a regular basis.  We’re here to photograph the items they send us and as such, they’ve  got to arrive in great condition and of course that means lots of protective packaging. As a result, our output of waste cardboard and other materials has increased massively.’

 Finding a viable solution that is both effective and cost efficient can be quite challenging, especially when you want to do the right thing for the environment and find a trustworthy waste manager that will collect on time.  Cawleys’ Infinity scheme offered the perfect solution for Unique Capture as it allows them to segregate their waste at the point of disposal using separate clearly labelled bins. This keeps their waste items cleaner, dryer and easier to recycle.  What’s more cost are minimised as there are much fewer items thrown into the general waste bins.

Ultimately , Cawleys can offer businesses a more elevated approach to waste and recycling and is constantly exploring better ways to refine the waste management process to make it even more sustainable and ensure it truly makes a positive impact on the circular economy.

 Want to hear more about Cawley’s infinity scheme?

And the winner is...

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Aiming to raise awareness with the ‘Small Action Big Impact’ cause, we were thrilled to award prize winner of January’s Recycling SABI competition.

Olga from the West Hertfordshire Hospitals NHS Trust.  Olga received some fantastic goodies for her participation and commitment to the cause as well as, shared how she’d implemented a few new methods to do here bit for the environment:

‘Follow the instructions, they are simple to understand and make it easy to do the right thing. Buy loose food to reduce your waste overall and always recycle the packaging where it is possible.’

Changing the way we do things in our day to day routines can contribute significantly to the cause.  Like Olga, we want to encourage as many people as possible to be green minded and to utilize the support we offer on top tips!

Olga advised: ‘It is always nice to do the best you can but it makes a real difference when this is acknowledged. I get a lot of tips from waste champions on YouTube and other platforms and I always spread the tips that I learn. I am very keen about waste and recycling and this prize makes my effort even more worthwhile.’

Look out for more opportunities to enter future prize draws or if you’re keen to be onboard, visit our website to see how you can contribute your input.

 

Click here to read more on how you can pledge.  

How #SmallActionBigImpact Can Benefit Your Organisation

How #SmallActionBigImpact Can Benefit Your Organisation

Thanks to social media, a more socially conscious public and a workforce demanding brands and employers to reflect their own values, here is a campaign with the perfect way to show your employees, stakeholders and consumers what’s important to you.