We are buying electronics like never before – and we remember to recycle the old

We buy and scrap at the same rate. During the corona crisis, the rate at which Danes have purchased electronics has increased considerably – as has the amount of electronics that consumers have taken to the recycling centres. During the corona crisis, Danes have eagerly used their credit cards in both physical and online electronics stores. From January to October 2020, Danes bought 22% more screens, speakers and the like, compared to the same months of 2019.  These figures are from research institute GfK. At the same time, the number of screens deposited at the recycling centres has increased by 21%. When a new screen is purchased, the old one goes to the recycling centre instead of being stored in the attic. In general, Elretur, which is responsible for collecting electronics at many of the country’s recycling centres, experienced a significant increase in the amount of electronics handed in by Danes during the corona crisis. “It is great that Danes are buying and scrapping at the same rate. This means that, as manufacturers, we can ensure responsible handling of our products when they reach end-of-life. We see an increasing degree of experimentation with, for example, recycled plastics in electronic products,” says Henrik Egede, director of APPLiA Denmark. The recycling rate for screens is 95%, and when it comes to small electronics, 87% of the raw materials are used in new products. Morten Harboe-Jepsen, director of the producer responsibility organisation Elretur, therefore welcomes the new trend: “In order to bring electronics to life again in new products, the old electronic items need to come out of drawers and into the right waste streams. It is important to sort both electronics and batteries, and not just dispose of them with your regular household waste. It seems that Danes have become better at remembering this, and we are very happy about that. We hope that the trend continues over the Christmas season, when a lot of hard packages are usually placed under the Christmas tree.” Fact box

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