Britain called on Amazon and Apple to fight with tons of e-waste
|According to a published report by the House of Commons environmental audit Committee (EAC) of the UK Parliament, the UK lags far behind other countries in the field of e-waste recycling. Members of the Committee invited major technology companies such as Amazon and Apple to help with waste management using their technologies and methods. |
In the UK, 23.9 kg of e-waste per person is generated annually. According to a recent UN report, the country ranks second in the world in terms of e-waste per capita, behind only Norway.
Most of this waste is incinerated or sent to landfills, and about 40 % is sent to other countries, often illegally. "In countries that accept our e-waste, it is often dumped in landfills, with toxic chemicals entering the environment and causing harm to people," the EAC writes.
The report notes that online stores such as Amazon and eBay are not always classified by regulators as retailers or manufacturers, as many products are sold on their platform by third-party retailers — about 50 % of products in the case of Amazon. Therefore, they are not required, under British law, to participate in the collection and processing of electronic waste. The Committee called on such companies to " collect products and pay for their processing on an equal basis with retailers and manufacturers who do not trade on their platforms."
In response, Apple told the Guardian that the EAC report does not reflect its efforts to save resources. For example, the company's smart watches, iPad tablets, and iPhone smartphones use recycled material in their key components.
"Amazon is committed to minimizing waste and helping our customers reuse, repair and recycle their products, and we offer a range of options that anyone can easily access through the Amazon Second Chance website," an Amazon spokesperson commented on the report, adding that the online company has been involved in recycling more than 10,000 tons of e-waste in the UK over the past decade.
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