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The ‘right to repair’ law is set to come into force in England, Scotland and Wales this summer. It’s a move that has been welcomed by everyone who is concerned about the amount of electrical waste that we generate each year – and those of us who want to save money!

Each year, we produce 1.5 million tonnes of electrical waste, much of which ends up in landfill. Yes, landfill! This blog from Computer Disposals Limited (CDL) outlines some of the horrifying facts of how little we do to prevent untold damage to our environment by not repairing, reusing or recycling our electrical goods properly.

Why is this law important?

We all know how quickly tech goes out of date. Part of this is built-in obsolescence and is intentional on the part of manufacturers to keep us from repairing the goods we have and instead channelling us into buying the latest, greatest versions. But it’s rubbish for the planet. Literally. When you think that it takes an estimated 450 years for a single plastic bottle to biodegrade, however long is it going to take for electrical goods? What’s for sure is that none of us will be around to learn the exact length of time it takes, which is why we need to do more now to protect the planet for future generations.

What can we do to help?

The modern world runs on technology and so there is no easy fix for the huge problem of tech waste, but that doesn’t mean we can’t start by doing what we can. Making a conscious attempt to move away from the throwaway culture, as consumers and businesses, we can surely retrain ourselves to get into the mindset and practicalities of fixing things instead of just casting them aside. The ‘throwaway’ culture is tremendously damaging and by realigning our thinking and going to the ‘repair’ option as our first port of call when our technology breaks, is an important first step.

We also need to up our recycling capabilities. CDL reports that just a pitiful 15-20 percent of all tech waste is recycled. And if you look at photos of e-waste in landfill, you’ll see how tragic that is.

Enterprise tech that shows you the way

Sometimes, in busy corporate environments, it’s not easy to see which devices can be upgraded and repurposed and, frankly, if finding those devices is a lengthy task, the reality is that there will always be something else more important for technicians to do.

However, for organisations that have ITAM solution NetSupport DNA in place, it’s much easier to discover these devices, thanks to the device data that it collects. Running a simple report can identify which PCs are upgradable, meaning that your technicians can see immediately what devices are included and can plan for how they will be upgraded, reused or recycled. This all helps to extend the lifecycle of technology, even if it does not answer the ultimate disposal problem. But it could save your company money in the meantime!

Further reading

NetSupport DNA for IT Asset Management: https://www.netsupportdna.com/corporate/index.asp

How to fight ‘throwaway culture’: https://www.bbc.com/worklife/article/20170825-how-to-fight-throwaway-culture

WEEE Directive: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/regulations-waste-electrical-and-electronic-equipment

Practical tips for extending the tech lifecycle from Get Green Now: https://get-green-now.com/reduce-ewaste-hazards/

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