In Europe the recycling of WEEE, Waste from Electrical and Electronic Equipment is still low. Only a part is disposed of in an adequate manner while the rest is thrown into the common landfills once it is considered old, introducing tons of heavy metals and non-biodegradable toxic substances into the earth, water and air, according to data released by the international organization Basel Action Network.
In addition to causing damage to the environment, inadequate disposal of WEEE also has enormous economic costs, since it does not allow the recovery of those precious materials of which these objects are made, such as copper, iron, aluminum, silver, gold, lead and mercury. Moreover, sometimes the device thrown away could even be regenerated and return to a new life.
A growing market segment, estimated in 2020 in Europe will be worth over 10 billion, and would solve the problem of WEEE disposal. Despite the fact that regenerated devices can guarantee performance comparable to new devices, compared to a much lower cost, even today they continue to find resistance among consumers, who fear to run into short-term purchases with dubious efficiency.
“Most people stop at the concept of ‘used’ thinking that, especially in the field of technology, it is impossible to bring products back to life or that, in any case, they will never perform well. Nothing could be more wrong! – declare Peter Windischhofer, Kilian Kaminski and Jürgen Riedl, young founders of the startup Refurbed, which deals with regenerated technological products – Those who have personally tried them, on the contrary, return to buy regenerated devices in over 80% of cases , a strong sign of deep satisfaction. To encourage users to try them, unlike other competitors, we at Refurbed have introduced a one-year warranty, extendable on request, for each product, as well as offering a specialized assistance service. A formula that is giving its results, since, in just two years after our foundation, we have exceeded 100 thousand customers throughout Europe “.
Founded in Austria in February 2017, Refurbed has quickly spread throughout Europe, offering a new philosophy for regenerated products. Perfectly functioning devices, at an average cost 40% lower than the new purchased model, less waste production and environmental benefits. In fact, for every purchase, Refurbed commits to plant a tree, thus fighting deforestation phenomena and the increase of CO2 in the atmosphere.
“In the last year, moreover, we have received many requests for computers and smartphones from offices and companies. This is an extremely positive sign, as opening to the B2B market could lead to an important diffusion of the regenerated and to a significant decrease in the production of WEEE, since it is precisely the companies and the offices that are the major producers of this waste. forced to change dozens of devices periodically ”the founders of Refurbed conclude.
Photo from Basel Action Network site