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    ECOTIC: 52 percent of Romanians consider it important to hand over small electrical and battery waste for recycling

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    ECOTIC presented a study on the level of awareness and action of the population regarding the correct disposal of small electronic waste, especially mobile phones, tablets, and laptops, as well as used batteries. The study was conducted in October 2023 on a sample of 1500 people, using the CAWI method.

    Asked about their actions to live in an environmentally friendly way, in general, 31 percent of respondents confirmed that they take concrete actions in this regard.

    Although in Romania the obligation to display the green stamp contribution has been in force for many years, only 41 percent know that the cost of collection and recycling of electrical and electronic products is included in the price of the product. At the same time, 52 percent consider it important for them and their family to hand in used small appliances and portable batteries for recycling.

    The habit of keeping small electronics that you no longer use at home is confirmed by 41 percent of respondents, and 29 percent confirm this behaviour for used batteries as well. Only 16 percent know clearly and concretely the options for disposing of used batteries and 10 percent in the case of electrical equipment waste. 60 percent of the population and 46 percent in the case of large stores do not know the option of handing over small electronics to small profile stores. At the same time, 64 percent say that it would be easy for them to access these teaching solutions.

    11 percent of respondents admitted that they do not properly dispose of used portable batteries, and the highest share is among those under 30 years old, the main reason cited by 41 percent of them is the lack of easily accessible collection points/containers, followed by the lack of information in this regard for 27 percent of them.

    Only 20 percent answered that they know that in their locality the town hall and sanitation are in charge of collecting small electronic equipment. Only 46 percent trust that they will be properly recycled.

    ECOTIC is the partner organization in Romania within the ECOSWEEE project, partially financed by the European Commission through the LIFE program and coordinated by the WEEE Forum, which aims to test different stimulation methods to increase the collection rate of small electrical waste and portable batteries.

    21 pilot projects will be developed in 12 countries to test the effectiveness of various incentives, including return-guarantee systems, direct payment, the use of e-Commerce platforms, visible eco-contribution, and other financial incentives. The project will develop policy recommendations that will be used to evaluate the new European directive on waste electrical and electronic equipment and the proposed regulation on batteries.

    According to the Global E-waste Monitor 2024, small electrical equipment such as video cameras, toys, microwave ovens and e-cigarettes are the largest e-waste category in the world’s total e-waste, accounting for 20 billion kg in 2022 , almost a third of the total.

    It is estimated that in 2022, 14 billion kg of e-waste will be improperly disposed of in landfills alongside other household waste, mostly in high- and middle-income countries. Unfortunately, small electrical waste such as light bulbs and neon lights, IT equipment end up being disposed of together with household waste.

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