It is quickly becoming apparent that e-waste and big companies go hand in hand.
In a new investigation by ITV News, Amazon has been revealed to be destroying millions of items of unsold stock – items which are often new and still fit for use. Among the products being destroyed were many WEEE items including laptops, TVs and computer drives, which were all sorted into boxes marked “destroy”.
These allegations come after Amazon’s UK boss John Boumphrey told ITV news that the amount of products destroyed by the company was “extremely small” – despite many employees now coming forward to speak up about the amount of waste that they are forced to create every day. One ex-employee even claimed that Amazon set warehouse employees the target of destroying 130,000 items a week.
It is practices like this from large businesses which prohibit us from making changes towards a more sustainable future. If these items truly needed to be disposed of, they could have been donated to charities (such as Jamie’s) to be given to new homes or be properly recycled. It is not just the individual consumer who needs to think about their waste practices; large companies also need to be held accountable in order to ensure that we are using items sustainably and not creating mass waste.
E-waste is a large part of this problem; in 2019, the UK was named as the second largest producer of WEEE. Material Focus has also brought light to this issue by claiming that the UK economy could save £370 million if all the electrical goods that are usually thrown away were instead recycled.
It is clear to us that it is vital that electronic goods are properly recycled – this needs to be made clear to big companies like Amazon to help our planet by reducing our e-waste output.