International E-waste day is coming soon – Material Focus is calling on local authorities and retailers to get involved

Media Release, 19th July 2023

International E-Waste Day (IEWD) 2023 is happening on the 14th October and Material Focus, the not-for-profit leading the Recycle Your Electricals campaign, is gearing up for another impactful year. With a strong focus on raising awareness and encouraging action, Material Focus aims to engage individuals, retailers, local authorities, businesses and communities to participate in this year’s campaign by encouraging everyone to recycle their electricals.  

E-waste is the UK’s fastest growing waste stream with 155,000 tonnes of electricals thrown away every year and 527 million items hoarded in UK homes. Last year’s IEWD saw retailers and over 30 local authorities all participating in the multi-media campaign and achieving the following:  

  • National event with Green Alliance “Are We Taking E-Waste Seriously Enough?” featuring a panel of industry experts and attracting over 100 attendees.
  • A national multi-media campaign encompassing PR, social media, and advertising
  • Coverage of the campaign with 856 media pieces across the UK

Collaborations with national retailers, shopping centres, workplaces, and 33 local authorities, resulting in the promotion and establishment of local collection pop-ups.Scott Butler, Executive Director, Material Focus said: “The public are looking to business to lead the way on sustainability so we’re really excited that so many organisations have already signed up to get involved. The majority of UK consumers want to live more sustainably – but only if it’s made easy for them. Recycling electricals is a simple action most people can take and employers play a key role in educating their staff in how they can do this. With this year’s 2023 campaign, we are determined to expand the impact of IEWD and encourage everyone to join the cause, including local authorities and retailers. By working together we can collectively address the mounting e-waste challenge and promote responsible electrical recycling.”

This year IEWD will also again involve a multi-media campaign including PR, social media, and advertising, and new research will also be launched. Many local authorities have already indicated they will be supporting this year, alongside at least 15 retailers.

Simple ways for retailers and local authorities to get involved include:

  • Promote reuse and recycling of electricals internally amongst your employees 
  • Promote reuse and recycling of electricals externally amongst customers, potential customers and suppliers
  • Make it easy for employees and visitors to recycle their electricals – offer a drop off point to recycle electricals at your workplace

Material Focus can provide the following:  

  • Staff briefing/ training
  • Comms toolkits with templates and suggested social media, website and email content
  • New E-waste stats and infographics
  • How to guide to setting up temporary drop off point
  • Currys have agreed to collect unwanted electricals from businesses who don’t have a system already set up 

IEWD was founded by the WEEE Forum, the international association representing producer responsibility organisations. The UK lead member is REPIC. IEWD is open to any one to participate.  

To learn more about how you can get involved in the 2023 IEWD campaign, please contact

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Recycle Your Electricals 

Material Focus is a not for profit whose goal is to stop the nation throwing away or hoarding all their old small electricals. Material Focus is delivering the UK-wide Recycle Your Electricals campaign. The campaign is making it easier for us all to recycle and reuse the small electricals we no longer need by funding more recycling points as well as providing practical information on how households can recycle.

The campaign is funded by producers of electrical appliances. The funding pays for a range of activities including communications, behaviour change activities, increased recycling projects and research. Ultimately the aim is to support actions that will help the UK increase the levels of reuse and recycling of waste electricals.

Find out how you can get involved today

One of our friendly team will be happy to help.