Britain is identified as among the world’s most profligate producers of e-waste, ranking fifth in terms of the weight of material discarded per inhabitant. Lifespans of consumer electronics such as laptops, tablets and mobile phones are becoming shorter, resulting in e-waste being the fastest growing waste stream in the UK.
Environmental legislation and sustainability have come a long way since the introduction of the WEEE directive. With exploding world populations and the resulting strain on natural resources, government focus has shifted from the traditional linear economy; make, use, dispose (recycle) to a closed loop approach of developing business called the circular economy with re-use at its core.
This is been driven by 2 key factors:
The circular economy works to minimise both of these factors since re-use minimises the need for newly produced assets and extends the lifecycle and use before re-cycling is required.
By choosing Re-Tek as their IT Disposal partner, our customers are participating in the circular economy and minimising the carbon impact of retiring their IT estate.
Similar to the Circular Economy, the Waste Hierarchy is a piece of government guidance that suggests an order of preference when it comes to reducing and managing waste. The most preferred option is to reduce the amount of waste produced and the least preferred option is the safe disposal of waste to landfill. Ultimately, the aim is to extract the maximum practical benefits from products and to generate the minimum amount of waste. This is something we actively encourage here at Re-Tek and we undoubtedly play a huge part in the “re-use” or “preparing for re-use” portion of the model.
Ellen McCarthur Foundation
The Ellen McCarthur Foundation is a global platform that brings together leading companies, emerging innovators and global regions to accelerate the circular economy. Its goal is to promote and apply the principles of re-use across every aspect of the industrial and consumer use process from product design, to lifecycle use, retirement, re-use and finally recycling.
This group of industry leading global organisations, called the CE100, have already embraced these concepts and are on a journey to fully integrating them into their own business model.
Re-Tek has been at the forefront of our industry in applying these concepts since 1996. We are now using them in the provision of IT Asset Retirement and Disposal services to many of the CE100 global organisations. We are also members of our SME regional CE100 which frequently provide international accelerator workshops, project charters and resource sharing with government and other SME regional CE100 members that intend to be innovative in refining and improving closed loop business models that are both sustainable, profitable and collaborative.
The company’s systems and processes have also been recognised in Scotland, with Re-Tek a finalist on circular economy in the country’s prestigious VIBES competition in 2016; www.vibes.org.uk
Re-Tek were also awarded a Green Apple award for Environmental Best Practice in 2017. The Green Apple Environment Awards were established in 1994 as an annual campaign to recognise, reward and promote environmental best practice around the world; www.thegreenorganisation.info