MPs say slow progress in tackling UK’s ‘e-waste tsunami’


The UK government has been criticized by the Environment Audit Committee for its lack of progress in addressing e-waste. A report published in November 2020 revealed that every household in the UK has an average of 20 unused electronic items. The committee’s chairman, Philip Dunne, expressed disappointment in the government’s response to their recommendations, stating that while some were accepted, they were not fully implemented.

E-waste poses a significant environmental threat, with toxic chemicals leaking into the environment when improperly disposed of. The committee urged the government to broaden its consultation scope to move towards a zero-waste economy. Proposed measures include holding producers accountable for the collection and treatment of end-of-life electrical goods and offering free collection services for bulky electronics.

While the committee welcomed some proposals in the government’s consultation, they felt that the overall scope was too narrow and did not address all their recommendations. Suggestions included holding online marketplaces accountable for ensuring electronics comply with UK law and requiring product labeling to include expected lifetime and software update information.

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