E-waste and How Consumer Choices Can Help to Reduce It

Lead Author: Dr. Jim Bowyer

Publish date: 10.19.2018

Dovetail Partners Consuming Responsibly Report No. 2
 

Millions of tons of electronic wastes are generated each year, often in the form of devices that are prematurely discarded after only several years of use. The result is far greater environmental impact of electronics than if more rational patterns of use and end-of-life strategies were employed. Changes in consumer behavior to keep devices longer before discarding, learning how or where to replace batteries, donating devices for restoration and reuse at the end of first life, and properly recycling when warranted can go a long way toward significant reduction in impacts linked to production and use of electronics. Changes in state and federal laws could also help to reduce global environmental impacts. This report provides insights into current environmental impacts from various sources of electronic waste, and diverse strategies for improving the situation. Links to organizations that accept used devices for reuse and recycling are also provided.