With Black Friday just around the corner (29 November), UK retailers are stocking-up to sell a staggering £1.4bn of appliances and electronics. But with an estimated 1.4 million tonnes of e-waste landfilled in the UK every year, savvy-shoppers are being urged to think twice about the environmental impact of their seasonal spending sprees.
Recent research from online spare parts retailer, eSpares, found that 75% of Brits don’t attempt to fix appliances when they break down and instead opt to purchase expensive new models. 10% of the population also revealed that they didn’t like to keep unfashionable old appliances. Black Friday’s continued growth in the UK is therefore somewhat unsurprising.
However, as a result of the UK’s throwaway culture, millions of tonnes of unnecessary e-waste is created every year – 70% of which is reported as ‘unaccounted for’ and either landfilled, flytipped or shipped overseas. It’s lear that this wasteful behaviour is having a catastrophic impact on the environment.
eSpares’ Ad Casey commented: “With the headlines dominated by ocean plastics, e-waste has seemingly slipped under the radar. But with every UK resident creating almost 15kg of e-waste per annum (a collective national weight 100 times heavier than the Eiffel Tower), it’s a terrifying issue that we can’t continue to ignore.”
The message from eSpares is clear. Think twice this Black Friday about whether or not you could fix your existing appliance before buying new – you may be surprised by just how quick and easy it can be. If you do need to buy a replacement, make sure you dispose of your old model correctly to minimise its environmental impact.
To inspire a national change towards disposing of e-waste, eSpares has launched #FixFirst – an initiative that provides free comprehensive information on how to fix appliances and help protect the environment. The company’s Advice Centre features more than 500 ‘how to’ videos, 700 fault fix articles and 9,000 appliance manuals, all of which help consumers to fix – not throw away.