At the Trash Summit, navigating circular economies
LG Portugal, ERP Portugal, and Novo Verde perceive an opportunity to develop circular economies through the reduction, reuse, recycling, and recovery of materials and energy while others view e-waste and abandoned packaging as just trash.
Three cutting-edge organisations came together in January to host Waste Summit – Economy, Consumption and Sustainability in Lisbon, Portugal. The three progressive organisations included a multinational tech company with a leading sustainability initiative, the Portuguese chapter of European Recycling Platform (ERP), and a leading waste management company. The important event aimed to stimulate further conversation about the pressing need for responsible garbage disposal as well as emerging problems with consumption, the economy, and sustainability.
Given the quantity of things we consume on a daily basis, giving electronic equipment, outdated batteries, and their packaging a second chance at life and pursuing sustainable behaviour from manufacturing to disposal are becoming more and more important in today’s society. Nonetheless, research indicates that there is still great space for improvement.
Portuguese citizens maintain equipment they no longer use since it is still functional and can be used in the future, according to a study titled Habits of the Portuguese in Connection to Electronic Waste* (co-authored by LG Portugal, ERP Portugal, QData and NOVA IMS). But, the reality is that outdated equipment frequently meets the same destiny as our huge devices’ old packaging and ends up gathering dust in cabinets, drawers, the garage, or storage space.
This relevant Waste Summit encouraged the exchange of best practises and knowledge among many societal sectors in order to improve environmental literacy and increase public understanding of the significance of sustainable practises in Portugal.
Around 232 thousand tonnes of electrical and electronic equipment were sold in Portugal in 2021 alone, yet more than 30% of the population still does not forward or recycle their e-waste, according to data from ERP Portugal. Electronic garbage is not only extremely destructive to the environment, but when improperly disposed of, it also offers a serious health concern because it often contains hazardous materials like mercury, which may affect the human brain, as well as toxic chemicals.
A total of 806,153 tonnes, or 76 kg per person, of packaging for fast-moving consumer goods were sold on the domestic market in 2021. The amount of packaging that has been collected has climbed 7 percent yearly on average since 2017, in line with the rising trend of packaging consumption.
The Waste Summit, which brought together more than a hundred representatives of various business sectors, distribution partners, and academia, provided LG Portugal, ERP Portugal, and Novo Verde with yet another excellent chance to act as change agents and advance sustainable behaviour for improved circular economies.
The event’s high point was a performance by renowned Portuguese comedian César Mouro, who used his skills in improvised comedy and music to create a lighthearted, entertaining, and educational conversation on the importance of controlling packaging and e-waste.
Destralhar, a digital campaign created jointly by LG Portugal and ERP, also featured Mouro’s original and funny take on one of today’s most important concerns. The fun but thought-provoking movie examines how Portuguese families and city employees live their lives and considers how these ways of living might be changed for the benefit of the planet.
The video advertisement follows the comedian as he surprized Lisbon families and employees in their homes and workplaces to assess their e-waste and packaging habits, highlighting Mouro’s distinctive improvised humour.
After a nice laugh, viewers will learn that the numerous things we usually throw away, like an old computer mouse or an out-of-date DVD player, actually have a lot of potential to be recycled or reused.
# # #
* Performed in Portugal between May and July 2020, including a national survey of more than a thousand participants.