Amazon and Apple Fail to Reduce Electronic Waste, Reports Reveal

Members of the British Parliament (MP) accused Amazon and Apple of 'not playing their part' in tackling their electronic waste (e-waste) problem.

MPs called out online retailers and dropped a few names like Amazon, Apple, and eBay, for participating in the yearly waste of $62.5bn from un-used technology products. This number also includes precious metals like gold, silver, and platinum.

"For all their protestations of claimed sustainability, major online retailers and marketplaces such as Amazon have so far avoided playing their part in the circular economy by not collecting or recycling electronics in the way other organizations have to," MPs said, as reported by The Guardian

Last year, Northern Europe produced the most e-waste, with a total of 22.4 kg per-capita, followed by Australia and New Zealand, and then the US and Canada. Interestingly, Asia places the second-lowest, although it's home to some tech giants like Sony and Samsung. 

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Sent Abroad 

A recent investigation by the Environmental Audit Committee of the United Kingdom found the country places the second-worst in the world in electronic waste, with a record of 155,000 tons of e-waste being thrown every year. Norway takes up the first place. 

MPs accused the retailers of dumping their electronic scrap components abroad in developing countries, which according to the government's estimates, the number stands at 40%. Some of them were even done unlawfully illegal and could cause environmental pollutions in the aforementioned countries. 

MPs also believed that Amazon and eBay, two open marketplaces where anyone could sell anything, of dodging the requirement as they're not considered as 'retailers.' 

The committee demands online marketplaces to collect the products and pay for their seller's recycling fees to create a more eco-friendly platform.   

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"Does Not Reflect (Our) Efforts"

However, Apple and Amazon had denied the accusation. 

Disappointed, Apple said that EAC's statement "does not reflect" the company's effort in tackling the e-waste issue in recent years. A couple of years back, the tech giant rolled out an option for Apple users to trade their second-hand devices instead of buying a new one, allowing them to use the materials for their latest iPhone, iPad, and Mac line-ups. 

"We will continue to work with parliament and the government to document Apple's industry-leading commitments and to support our common effort to leave a clean economy and a healthy planet for the next generation," Apple says in a statement. 

On the other hand, Amazon claimed to have recycled over 10,000 tons of e-waste in the UK for the last ten years. In 2018, Amazon launched the 'Second Chance' website to help users dispose of their waste in exchange for a new product. 

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