What is E-Waste and Why is it a Problem? - Tech Tiger

What is E-Waste and Why is it a Problem?

Mar 14, 2024Amy Williams

What is E-Waste?

If you think about how many mobile phones, laptops or tablets you’ve had in your lifetime, how many would it be? E-waste is the fastest-growing waste stream in the world, with the UK being one of the biggest contributors. In recent decades, there’s been technological innovation which reaps so many benefits for improved systems and things like increased communication and higher quality healthcare. However, because of this, we now have a magnitude of e-waste that is on the rise across the globe. So, let’s delve further into this and answer the question: What is e-waste and why is it a problem? 

 What is E-Waste and Why is it a Problem?

 Think of anything with electric components, a plug, or a cord. This is what is classed as e-waste (once it becomes redundant). Do you ever remember what happened to that digital camera that faded out of our lives when the first iPhone dropped? If it’s in a drawer somewhere, or in a pile in the garage, then there’s something that we can do about it to stop it from becoming a problem, and this is by recycling or refurbishing. Before we get on to that, what actually is the problem with E-Waste? 

According to WHO, e-waste is increasing three times faster than the global population. The problem with e-waste is that it is very harmful to the environment, and when it is disposed of, toxic substances like lead and mercury can leach into soil and water. This means that when toxic materials seep into groundwater, it affects animals and also the people nearby where the e-waste has been sent to. 



There are many things that we can do going forward to ensure that we are more mindful of the technology we buy, but for all the used tech we have lying around at home or in the office, how can we save it from harming our environment? The best way to save it from contributing to the waste in a landfill is to recycle or refurbish. Let’s have a look at an example of e-waste first of all…

What is an Example of E-Waste?

For both work and at home, picture every device that you’ve used across the years. The printer that broke years ago, the kids’ games console that they got bored of, or the old mobile that you ditched for a newer model. All of these things are an example of e-waste. Alongside the obvious products, there are also things like DVD players, calculators, flashlights, and those pieces of old tech you may have forgotten about from decades ago that are sitting in a loft or in storage from a while back. 

If you’re thinking about the contents of your desk drawer or the spare room that’s packed with unknown boxes, you might want to know: what is considered e-waste? The main difference between waste and e-waste, is that waste can’t be reused or recycled. When it comes to any technological appliances, the majority of the time, they can be recycled or reused. However, if they are informally recycled, then this can also lead to further issues. So, it needs to be done properly and in the correct process, to have a better impact on the planet. 


What Happens to E-Waste When it is Recycled?


Only a small percentage of e-waste is recycled, and this is the reason for it becoming such a problem across the world. In the UK, e-waste is recycled by being taken to reprocessing plants and shredded into small pieces. To recycle the materials that can be reused, a magnet then retracts the stronger metals. Recycling e-waste is more sustainable than sending it to landfills, but there are also other alternatives for e-waste management.


Iphones on a white counter and black background: what is e-waste and why is it a problem?


What is E-Waste Management?


Although we’ve discussed the issues with e-waste and how it’s caused, it can be managed in a way that can offset it becoming a problem. To reduce adverse effects on the environment, e-waste has to be managed and disposed of carefully and properly. E-waste management refers to managing electronic waste by disposing of it, such as the collection, or recycling and refurbishing. We’ve covered recycling e-waste, so what is refurbished technology?


Refurbished Technology


An alternative to recycling technology is that you can send it to be refurbished. At Tech Tiger, we will buy your used tech to refurbish it and sell it to a new owner. We have a 60+ diagnostics check once we have refurbished a piece of technology, to ensure that it is as good as new, and we also provide a 13-month warranty to ensure that the piece of technology, whether it’s refurbished iPhones, laptops, tablets or an alternative, is to the quality that it should be once refurbished. Instead of contributing to the e-waste at landfill, technology should have a prolonged life without an expiry date. This is what refurbished technology can offer to the growing problem of e-waste.


What is E-Waste and How Can I Reduce it?


As we’ve discussed, e-waste comes from a whole host of electrical products that we may use or find in our home. The simple way that we can reduce e-waste, is to buy refurbished mobile phones and other tech over new ones and return your old tech to be refurbished. A simple cycle, with no e-waste or contributing to your carbon footprint. Also, you’ll save money too! Not only is refurbished tech kind to the planet, but it’s kind to your bank balance as well. There’s no problem upgrading your tech if you’re being mindful of how you’re contributing to the existing problem. Refurbished tech means that you’re expanding the lifespan of a device and keeping e-waste at a minimum. Why not get in touch and see how we can refurbish your old tech?


If you want to see how much you could get for selling your old tech and helping to protect the environment, click here.

More articles

Comments (1)

  • I have been selling my old tech and buying refurbished for years now. Game changer!


Leave a comment

Please note: comments must be approved before they are published