The first International E-Waste Day held on the 13th October to promote the proper management of electrical and electronic equipment has been hailed a ‘tremendous success’ by its organisers. The WEEE Forum, an international association of e-waste collection schemes, said that the occasion was celebrated in 30 different countries worldwide with around 50 organisations being engaged by the initiative. A wide range of events from online campaigns to temporary city centre collection points helped raise the public profile of e-waste and encouraged consumers and businesses to correctly dispose of their e-waste.
Many different events were held as part of International E-Waste Day. In Malta, the WEEE Forum, supported by the WEEE Malta organised the first WEEE Islands Summit focusing on the challenges of WEEE managment, operations and financing on insular areas in Europe. The summit gathered together Schemes from Greece, Cyprus, Malta, Ireland, Portugal and Spain that brought forward a number of proposals how to improve systems facing particular difficulties due to lack of economies of scale, lack of available infrastructure in situ, and so forth. The Ministry for Environement, Sustainable Development and Climate change, under the auspices of the Honourable Minister Hose’ Herrera spearheaded a joint effort by all WEEE stakeholders on the Island and organised a business breakfast for producers with the theme: ‘Repair, Repurpose, Recycle’. The event was followed by a ‘Repair Cafe’ event at the Suq Tal-Belt in Valletta. The event promoted the repairablity of household electrical and mechanical devices prior to dispose of into the recycle bins. WEEE Malta promoted the right disposal of small eWaste through its ongoing WEEE Trolley Campaign. All WEEE Malta collection points are found on the newly launched website www.weeemalta.org.
Joe Attard, Chief Executive Officer of WEEE Malta and Board Director of the WEEE Forum said, “International E-Waste Day gave us a great opportunity to engage with consumers and communicate that e-waste should be disposed of using the correct channels.” He continued, “The messages of our members were well received and we are optimistic that the day has contributed to influence people’s behaviour.”
Pascal Leroy, Secretary General of the WEEE Forum, added, “We are so pleased with the participation and high profile of the day. Having so many countries involved and so many different events organised surpassed our expectations and struck a positive note everywhere International E-Waste Day was celebrated.”