Electronic waste disposal is so cool and easy

© DSD / Grüner Punkt

© DSD / Grüner Punkt
The majority of people in Germany do not – or only incompletely – know, how and where to dispose of old electrical equipment correctly. On average, 22 kg of electronic waste is generated per person per year (The Global E-waste Monitor 2017), but only 45 % of these are properly returned by consumers. In this way, large amounts of valuable raw materials that could be recycled are lost. That is why today a national awareness campaign starts, which is supported by the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety as well as the Federal Environmental Agency.


"Old electrical appliances are real raw material storage," says Federal Environment Minister Svenja Schulze. "It is possible to recover many metals from it. All the more important are the environmentally friendly disposal and high quality recycling. Therefore it is necessary to be able to simply return used computers, televisions or kitchen devices. Everyone is in demand here – trade and also us as consumers. I therefore expressly welcome the information campaign of the "ear foundation", which raises awareness of the return of old electrical appliances and informs them in a uniform and recognizable way about possible returns. The campaign thus makes an important contribution towards more circular economy and resource conservation. "


"Only correctly disposal old electrical appliances such as televisions, refrigerators or mobile phones protects the environment from pollutants and saves raw materials," adds Maria Krautzberger, President of the Federal Environment Agency. "The Federal Environment Agency welcomes the willingness of manufacturers, traders, public waste disposal companies and disposal companies to inform consumers even more intensively in the future about the simple and correct disposal of e-waste. We hope the campaign also significantly increases the collection volumes."


Many consumers lack the knowledge about what to do with old electrical devices. This is exactly where the campaign ties in, which is financed by the manufacturers of electrical appliances and is scheduled to run 4 to 6 years. The municipalities also welcome the initiative.


"Climate protection also means protecting resources. Proper return and recycling of used electrical appliances secures valuable resources. The municipalities are important players in taking back and recycling and therefore expressly welcome the campaign for more attention to this important issue, "explains Detlef Raphael, Assistant Director of Deutscher Städtetag.


The sender of the campaign is Plan E – E as easy, E as E-waste, E as disposal. At the center of Plan E are four fictional characters: Franzi, Gero, Frauke and Erik. Four different people who are faced with disposal issues and represent a colorful cross section of consumer groups. In a playful way they explain, how the return of e-waste works uncomplicatedly with the song "Drop It Like E-Scrap", an arrangement of the mega hit "Drop It Like It's Hot" by Snoop Dogg and Pharrell Williams with new lyrics. The accompanying information video was produced in the style of a music clip directed by Zoran Bihac, who has already worked with music stars, such as Rammstein, K.I.Z. and Seeed. The campaign strengthens the awareness, motivates the correct disposal behavior and shows how easy it all works.


Plan E is scattered with extensive advertising efforts throughout the Federal Republic. In addition to posters and infoscreens, also display stands, flyers and posters are placed at recyclables and recycling yards as well as in specialist shops. Part of the education campaign is also an extensive social media presence. The song "Drop It Like E-Scrap" can now be streamed on Spotify. The video can be found on YouTube.


Behind the campaign is the foundation ear, which acts as the "Joint Agency of Manufacturers" within the meaning of the ElektroG and performs tasks such as registering manufacturers and coordinating the provision of collection containers and the collection of old equipment.


"With the eye-catching campaign, we want to address and pick up all population groups equally. The message is simple and understandable and comes to life, "says Alexander Goldberg, CEO of the ear foundation.


Dr. Klaus Mittelbach, Chairman of the ZVEI management: "With the old electrical equipment register (ear), manufacturers have built one of the most important cornerstones for efficient take-back structures for WEEE. ZVEI supports the ear campaign to inform consumers about the correct disposal of electrical appliances in Germany. "


Christoph Brellinger, Managing Director of VERE e.V. on the ear foundation: "The ear foundation is the joint body of manufacturers of waste equipment recycling in Germany. Therefore, it is consistent that it takes on the task to inspire consumers for the proper disposal of their equipment. Here, the ear has the full support of the VERE Association. "


Anja Olsok, Member of the Management Board of Bitkom e.V .: "We want digitalization that respects our environment. This means that we handle our resources with care, recover valuable materials and dispose of hazardous substances professionally. This is how we create the basis for sustainable IT products. "



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