Used electronic products are the fastest growing waste problem due to their quantity, rapid obsolescence, and toxicity. Electronic waste contains toxic substances, including lead, mercury, cadmium, lithium, brominated flame retardants, and phosphorous coatings. These toxic materials can be released upon disposal, threatening human health and the environment. Inconsistencies in worker safety and environmental protection mean potential liability concerns for those sending electronics to recycling facilities – especially if these facilities are located in developing countries. State and local governments have neither the existing recycling infrastructure, nor the funding to properly manage electronics without the support of industry. PSI therefore continues to work with government agencies to pass product stewardship legislation and improve existing programs. Twenty three states have passed extended producer responsibility (EPR) laws requiring manufacturers to establish collection and recycling programs for their products. California has taken a different approach, creating a state-run program funded by a recycling fee collected at the time of sale. Utah passed a law requiring companies to report on their recycling activities.

What is PSI Doing on Electronics?

How can You Take Action on Electronics?