Electronic waste – designed for the dump

We all need to be thinking about what electronic products we buy and how we dispose of them. We are now purchasing and disposing of electronic products at an alarming rate, mostly because products are deliberately designed to be replaced as quickly as possible – ‘designed for the dump’

Virtually all this electronic equipment contains toxic materials such as heavy metals which are harmful to people and the planet. Electronic waste is often exported to developing countries, where processing is done with little safety protection, exposing workers and the local population to toxins and poisoning their air and water.

The simplest and cheapest way to take action is to resist the urge to buy yet another gadget. Or have a look at Amazon Renewed for refurbished, pre-owned and open-box products.

We need to use our power as consumers to encourage companies to make less toxic, more easily recyclable and longer lasting products.

The Story of Electronics is a 20 minute animated film looking at the environmental problems caused by the disposal of electronic waste.The aim of the film is to make us all aware of the hidden impacts of our out-of-control consumption and to motivate us to act differently. It’ll make you laugh, make you despair, and maybe it will change the way you look at all the stuff in your life. When it was first released in 2010 it was an internet sensation and is still just as valid today.

Annie Leonard, creator of the ‘The Story of Stuff Project’ also published a book describing how our obsession with buying more and more stuff is trashing the planet. She looks at where products such as bottled water, mobile phones and jeans come from, how they’re made and distributed, and where they really go when we throw them away. Available from Amazon – The Story of Stuff: How Our Obsession with Stuff is Trashing the Planet, Our Communities, and Our Health – and a Vision for Change

More from The Story of Stuff Project at

Further reading:

This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs the Climate by Naomi Klein
A Life Less Throwaway: The lost art of buying for life by Tara Button

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