Did you know that many of the problems faced by the environment are caused
by the ordinary household? That means You and Me! Private households account
for 30-40% of all environmental impact.

A massive 60-70% of the world’s energy is used by home electrical products
according to the US Department of Energy and the majority of this percentage is
used by ‘white goods’, which include refrigerators, freezers and washing mach-
ines. The remaining percentage is taken up by products known as 'brown goods', which are essentially entertainment items such as televisions, video recorders
and audio equipment.

Two major environmental issues are raised by the increasing use of electrical
goods. The use of energy to produce them and operate them and also their end
of life disposal. Hence the introduction of European legislation to help combat the waste problem and encourage manufacturers to design and produce longer-
lasting, more energy efficient appliances. This legislation is known as the WEEE Directive (Waste electronic and electrical goods ).

The disposal of electrical items, particularly white goods (fridges, freezers,
washing machines etc) is currently causing a massive problem in how to dispose
of it. There is less and less landfill space available. In the EU waste electrical
and elec-tronic products account for 6.5 million tonnes of waste each year.
This is unacceptable waste.

We all have a responsibility to try and avoid sending appliances and electronic
goods to landfill.

Another growing concern is over the disposal of small appliances such as:
kettles, coffee and tea makers, toasters, sandwich toasters, deep-fat fryers,
food mixers, juicers, electric irons, electric shavers, hair-dryers and electric toothbrushes; these are easily disposed of in the normal household waste stream
and become "invisible". It is estimated that over eight million small appliances are discarded each year in the UK, virtually all of them ending up in landfill. The EU Directive has set recycling targets for all types of household appliances - 50%
in the case of small appliances.