UK households produce the second most e-waste in Europe

Christmas is right around the corner and Brits across the UK have already begun shopping for their loved ones. One of the most popular Christmas ‘gifts’ will be electronic products, but as people receive their new smartphones, TVs and computers, ‘old’ models will undoubtedly contribute towards the growing problem that is e-waste (electronic waste).

In 2019 alone, there was 53.6 million tonnes (Mt) of electronic waste globally according to statistics from the United Nations (UN). This is equivalent to the weight of 350 cruise ships the size of the Queen Mary two!

Interested in electronic waste, Clearitwaste utilised e-waste data from the Global E-Waste Statistics Partnership and household composition data from the United Nations to calculate who produces the most e-waste on average per household each year.

Which European Country Produces the Most E-Waste Per Household?

Clearitwaste found that Norwegians are the biggest culprits in Europe when it comes to e-waste, as the average amount generated per household is 57kg annually. That is the same weight as six small business printers.

The UK is in second position – British households are guilty of producing 55kg of e-waste per year. The e-waste per household in UK is the equivalent weight of twenty 22-inch computer monitors.

Considering that there are 27.8 million households in the UK, the collective e-waste in the country could potentially be 1,529,000,000kg – the equivalent weight of 1,174,347 city cars*!

Brits’ Views on E-Waste 

Considering that e-waste often contains chemicals (e.g. lead, mercury etc.) which can be very harmful to the environment, Clearitwaste surveyed 1,622 Brits to discover their views on a range of issues concerning e-waste. The survey results were as follows:

  • 16% of Brits don’t know what ‘e-waste’ is; 84% do
  • From the 84%, only 31% truly understand the devastating problems associated with excessive


  • 87% of Brits feel relevant governmental/environmental bodies need to better educate the public on what e-waste is and how it can adversely impact the environment
  • Interestingly, just 36% of Brits confidently and correctly know how to dispose of their old/unwanted electronic items

Clearitwaste consulted energy specialists SaveonEnergy for their top tips on how you can reduce e-waste this Christmas:

  • Sell ‘old’ working electronics online
  • Repurpose old electronics
  • Make eco-conscious decisions when gifting

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