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E-waste has become critical concern during the pandemic

communication technology
(Image credit: Image source: Shutterstock/violetkaipa)

As businesses buy new gear to support the remote workforce during the pandemic, they are creating mountains of e-waste.

This is according to a new report from data erasure and mobile device diagnostics company Blancco Technology Group, which claims that 53 million tons of e-waste was created during 2019, even before the pandemic struck.

The report states that, since Covid-19 pandemic began, nearly all enterprises (97 percent) have been forced to refresh their hardware, and most (75 percent) purchased brand new devices.

The majority (78 percent), however, believe the short-term technology investment that came about as the result of Covid-19 was unnecessary.

The good news is that many organizations have plans in mind to deal with e-waste - it's just that they’re not implementing them properly.

Almost half of large global enterprises have roles responsible for implementing and ensuring compliance with e-waste policies, specifically to deal with e-waste generated from the pandemic.

While 44 percent do have an e-waste policy in place for end-of-life device management, it’s not being communicated or implemented effectively, mostly due to a lack of ownership around the communication of the policies.

“It’s fascinating that so many businesses have implemented roles to manage the e-waste issue resulting from Covid-19, demonstrating corporate social responsibility (CSR), but also their concern around how these devices will be dealt with when they reach end-of-life,” said Alan Bentley, President of Global Strategy at Blancco.

“It’s crucial that this issue is not overlooked and that these devices are appropriately disposed of.”