United Kingdom – Rather than adopting the recycling route, many people in the UK are holding on to broken or unwanted electronic equipment because they are worried about the potential for personal data security breaches. Such concerns were expressed by almost 70% of the 1107 respondents to a survey by REPIC, the UK’s largest WEEE producer compliance scheme.
Some 26% of those questioned did not know how to delete their personal data while 33% did not think it was necessary.
Pointing to ‘a real risk’ that old or unused electronics are being stockpiled owing to ‘fear and mis-education’, REPIC’s ceo Mark Burrows-Smith observes: ‘Data can be deleted, devices cannot. These results are really telling in what drives people’s recycling behaviours and the need for increased education around how householders remove personal data before disposal.’
On the positive side, only 21% of respondents cited a lack of knowledge about where to recycle their electronic devices and gadgets as compared to 31% last year.
Meanwhile, the proportion of people aware of the recyclability of their electronics surged from 72% in 2016 to 83%.