Julia Hailes MBE

Sustainability Pioneer


Sky News interviews me on e-waste (Jan24)

Are you concerned about e-waste? If not you should be!

Over half a billion small electrical items ended up in landfill last year in the UK.  And to give another perspective, a person born in 1980 will generate around 500kg of e-waste in their lifetime – or 8 times their body weight. If you calculated how much would be produced by a person born in 2024, I suspect it would be many times that!

🌟✨ I started the new year with an interview on Sky News on e-waste and recycling in my capacity as a director of Rubbish Ideas!  This interview was sprung on me with less than an hour’s notice. However, it wasn’t difficult to highlight how important this issue is.

The good news is that the government is setting up a scheme for collecting some of our e-waste. Not such good news is it’s too little, too late.

We should be making more durable products so less is thrown away, repairing our electronic goods, re-using as much as we can, and recycling the rest. Such valuable materials with very high environmental impacts have become yet more disposable items.

This interview was sprung on me with less than an hour’s notice. However, it wasn’t difficult to highlight how important this issue is.

We need more Rubbish Ideas promoting the circular economy. Have a look at what Connor Bryant and Jack Schneider, at Rubbish Ideas, are doing with their Rubbish Tracker, which helps events companies track materials through the supply chain thereby significantly increasing recycling and re-use.

Comment Section

2 Responses

  1. Having personally witnessed the rapid evolution of technology over the years, it’s disheartening to see the corresponding surge in electronic waste. During the interview, I shared my own experiences grappling with the dilemma of outdated gadgets and the pressing need for responsible disposal. https://www.ourgreenstreets.org/org/asda-kirkstall-recycling-site/ Reflecting on the interview, I highlighted the urgency of addressing e-waste issues and the environmental consequences of improper disposal. Sharing anecdotes from my own journey of navigating through the maze of electronic devices and realizing the importance of recycling shed light on the broader implications for our planet. Sky News provided a platform to delve into the complexities of e-waste management, emphasizing the role of public awareness and sustainable practices. Grateful for the opportunity to contribute to the conversation, I hope that our discussion inspires positive action and encourages others to rethink their approach to electronic consumption. It’s time for all of us to take responsibility and collectively strive for a greener, more sustainable future

    1. Thanks George. Yes, I agree, this is a huge problem. The IT industry is incredibly wasteful. For example, we use Apple computers at home but have discovered that after 7 years they may look the same but they don’t work with modern software. The chap that gives us computer support says he has lots of them piled under his desk in case clients need a temporary replacement. But generally, it means that people have to chuck them out and get new ones, simply because of software issues – when the hardware is fine. This requires system change and a challenge to designers to create models that can be updated. One small example of many.

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