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Apple’s switch to Type-C port for iPhone 15 series will generate a lot of e-waste

Although Apple finally moving to the USB-C port is a good thing, this move is set to generate a lot of e-waste, not because of Apple, but because people don’t know how to dispose of chargers and charging cables.

It’s pretty concerning to note that 75 percent of people in the US do not dispose of their chargers properly. Furthermore, 55 percent of people tend to discard their chargers as a general waste stream, which can exacerbate electronic waste concerns and hinder recycling efforts.

The scale of this problem becomes even more evident when we consider the staggering annual figure of 54,000 metric tons of chargers being discarded. This substantial volume contributes to the growing issue of electronic waste and underscores the pressing need for increased awareness and responsible disposal practices within our communities.

All this data comes to us courtesy of a recent survey conducted by Decluttr. The survey shed light on a concerning trend in the improper disposal of tech waste, coinciding with the highly anticipated launch of the iPhone 15 and iPhones moving over to USB-C chargers. This shift in charger technology aligns with new regulations mandating that all mobile phones sold in the EU must feature a USB-C charging port by the conclusion of 2024, a change aimed at the betterment of both the environment and consumers in the long run.

However, in the immediate present, a pressing question arises: Do people know how to dispose of their outdated charging cables correctly?

Decluttr undertook a comprehensive survey involving 2,400 individuals across the United States to address this concern. The primary objective of this survey was to gain insights into the prevailing practices concerning the disposal of old phone chargers, and the findings have unveiled a disturbing lack of awareness among respondents.

The survey results provide a sobering glimpse into how people dispose of their chargers. Around 55 percent of respondents admitted to discarding their chargers in the general waste stream, posing significant environmental risks. It’s worth noting that iPhone chargers contain materials such as zinc, copper, and plastic, which, if not disposed of correctly, can leach into the environment, potentially polluting soil and water sources and posing health hazards to both wildlife and humans.

The data underscores a prevalent issue, with a staggering 75 percent of participants failing to dispose of their chargers in an environmentally responsible manner. Furthermore, 25 percent indicated that they drop off their chargers at recycling centers, a positive but still relatively low figure. Interestingly, 17 percent selected the “Other” category, with most comments revealing that they leave their chargers unused in a drawer.
Regrettably, only 3 percent of respondents seek guidance from local authorities on charger disposal. In the face of these statistics, it becomes evident that e-waste is a pressing concern that often escapes our collective notice.

The United Nations reports a disturbing trend – e-waste is the fastest-growing waste stream globally, projected to increase by 21 percent between 2019 and 2030.

To put things into perspective, a staggering 54,000 metric tons of chargers are discarded annually worldwide. In view, the charging cables produced in a year would wrap around the Earth approximately 1.3 times when laid end-to-end.

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