Apple & Amazon face MPs backlash for UK e-waste surge: Tech giants Apple and Amazon are amongst the companies implicated by the Environmental Audit Committee (EAC) of having a part in the ‘electronic waste tsunami’ in the UK as well as dodging their environmental responsibilities.
The body’s summary reports that the firms are contributing to 155,000 tonnes of waste electricals ending up in bins each year.
The EAC asserts that online retailers & marketplaces must have an responsibility to collect e-waste from customers by the end of 2021, while the UK is trailing behind other nations concerning the use, reuse & recycle for small electronics.
MPs also encourage the government to call for all manufacturers to label their electrical and electronic products with every item’s expected lifetime & ban the practice of intentionally lowering the lifespan of products.
Additionally, the EAC calls on the policymakers to lower the VAT charged on the repair of electrical & electronic products.
It further calls on manufacturers to guarantee their products are recyclable & can be taken apart by waste treatment operators.
Environmental Audit Committee Chairman, Rt Hon Philip Dunne MP , stated: “For too long companies like Amazon and Apple have been dodging their environmental responsibilities for the products they sell.
“Too many devices sold and made by these companies have a limited, and sometimes decreasing, lifespan and end up in bins, eventually going to landfill or incineration. There is no chance of precious metals being retrieved, which could quickly become a huge problem as the rare and disappearing materials are crucial for renewable energy such as wind turbines, solar panels and electric car batteries.
A spokesperson for Apple stated: “We were surprised and disappointed with the Environmental Audit Committee’s report, which does not reflect any of Apple’s efforts to conserve resources and protect the planet we all share. There are more options for customers to Trade in, recycle and get safe, quality repairs than ever before, and our latest Apple Watch, iPad, and iPhone lineup all use recycled material across key components.”
The tech giant also gave their word to continue to work with Parliament & the Government to record its commitments: “We practice what we preach, driving private sector innovation forward in areas from device durability and recycled materials to ambitious goals for a fully carbon-neutral supply chain and device life cycle by 2030 and to one day end the use of mined and extracted materials altogether.”
An Amazon spokesperson stated: “Amazon is committed to minimising waste and helping our customers to reuse, repair, and recycle their products, and we provide a range of options that anyone can easily access through the Amazon Second Chance website. We have supported the recycling of more than 10,000 tonnes of electronic waste in the UK over the last decade.”
To tackle the root cause of eWaste, Amazon said its own devices are designed to last so that customers will not have to upgrade each year, and we offer a range options such as Trade-In, Pre-Owned Devices & recycling: “Our latest generation of devices are made with more recycled materials than ever before and we’re the first company to invest in renewable energy projects to address the energy used by our customers’ devices after purchase.
“We remain steadfast in meeting The Climate Pledge, our commitment to reach net zero carbon by 2040, and we will continue to work constructively with the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and others on the role of online marketplaces and the circular economy, and the challenges of electronic waste.”
Apple & Amazon face MPs backlash for UK e-waste surge