Tuesday, 22 July 2008

The WEEE man and a global campaign

The WEEE man is a brilliant communication tool that is standing in the Eden Project. It is made from electrical and electronic waste, such as washing machines, TVs, microwaves, vacuum cleaners and mobile phones. It represents the amount of waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) the average British person throws away in their lifetime – over 3 tonnes per person.

69% of Household WEEE arising by weight in the UK comes from Large Household Appliances – cookers, washing machines etc. Therefore the predominant weight of WEEE in the WEEE Man is large household appliances. Consumer Equipment (i.e. Hi Fi ) accounts for 13%, 8% Small Household appliances such as vacuum cleaners, 7% IT & telecommunications (mobile phones) and so on.

The statistics is interesting in a time where IT get a lot of criticism for the e-waste. It is obviously a serious issue, especially as a lot of chemicals and rare metals are used, still collaborations between those producing large household appliances and consumer electronics would be a very good way forward looking at the numbers..

Why not have one WEEE man in every major city then it would be easy to see what countries that are the most wasteful? Each year the WEEE man could be “updated” depending on the waste trends in the different countries. Maybe even flags could be attached to the WEEE man to indicate where the waste ends up in order for people in OECD to see where their waste often ends up.

Important would be to indicate how much that are being recycled and how much that is sent to poor countries and/or to landfills. IT could help clean up the dirty side of IT...