Beyond E-waste Recycling – Electronics Consumption and the Challenge of Sustainability
Organized on 22nd May, 2019.
Australians are the fourth highest generators of ewaste per capita in the world generating just over 23.6 kg per inhabitant or 574,000 tonnes per annum[i]. The numbers are even more staggering when you consider that the world generated 44.7 million metric tonnes (Mt) of e-waste in a year, yet only 20 percent was recycled through appropriate channels.
In response to the sluggish pace of regulatory and industry action, a new independent think-tank –Ewaste Watch has recently been launched in Australia to act in the public interest to protect human health and the environment by accelerating increased levels of electronics sustainability from cradle to cradle.
During this webinar, Ewaste Watch director and co-founder John Gertsakis discusses the importance of design in addressing the ewaste challenge and over-consumption. He outlines why it’s important to move beyond simplistic recycling solutions, and place greater attention on policies, programs that can help create new patterns of consumption, including higher levels of dematerialisation, sharing and product-service strategies.
While electronics bring much functional benefit and convenience, the proliferation of electronics, including the Internet of Things, also underscores the need to think and act very differently in the quest to turn the tide on ewaste globally and transition to a circular economy. Recycling alone has not been able to curve the production and consumption of electronics, and this means positive disruption through policy, regulation, investment and consumer education is now essential.
Deputy Director, China Australia Centre for Sustainable Urban Development
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