Joint action sparks electricals sector ‘revolution’

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Organisations from across the UK electricals sector are set to ‘revolutionise the way we buy, use and dispose of electrical items’ through the Electrical and Electronic Sustainability Action Plan (esap).

The esap signatories, including AMDEA, retra, Electrical Safety First and Repic, were unveiled at WRAP’s Resources Limited conference in London, November 18. The resource efficiency experts’ conference is intended to bring together global organisations to understand the challenges and solutions to building business resilience, and growing value in a world of scarce resources.

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Esap will be led by WRAP on behalf of UK governments and builds on the delivery body’s expertise in this area. It will help organisations – that design, manufacture, sell, repair, re-use and recycle electrical and electronic products – to work collaboratively across the product life-cycle. This shows the signatories commitment to reducing the environmental impact of electrical and electronic products in ways that bring benefits to consumers and industry alike.

Signatories’ actions, which include: implementing new business models such as take-back and resale; extending product durability; and, gaining greater value from reuse and recycling, could significantly boost the UK economy as well as help future proof our resources, WRAP claims.

The group estimates that the UK market value for trading pre-owned equipment to be worth up to £3 billion. Encouraging the trade-in of used TVs alone could grow UK GDP by over £750 million per year by 2020. With esap signatories representing two thirds of the UK’s TV sales this vision could become a reality, WRAP believes. If the TV model was scaled up to the whole electronics sector, this could increase GDP by around £5.25 billion.

WRAP chief executive Dr Liz Goodwin said: “I am delighted with the take up of esap from the electricals industry, which has the potential to revolutionise how we design, manufacture, sell, repair, re-use, and recycle electrical and electronic products. By making better use of resources, businesses can better safeguard their future through creating new opportunities for economic and environmental benefits, whilst saving consumers money.”

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