Victorians are reminded to shop more consciously when buying electronic goods as Christmas gifts this year as new research reveals the most common unwanted gifts include tech gadgets such as mobile phones and tablets (28 per cent), followed closely by kitchen appliances (26 per cent) and beauty tools (24 per cent).
Commissioned by Sustainability Victoria, the research found that more than 53 per cent of Victorians receive at least one electronic item as a gift each year, with unwanted kitchen appliances resulting in the most electronic double-ups sitting at home unused.
60 per cent of Victorians have purchased an electronic gift for someone else at Christmas time, while 32 per cent have admitted to re-gifting unwanted electronic gifts.
The festive season was found to be a major period for creating electronic waste (e-waste) – almost 30 per cent of Victorians admitted to having purchased electronic Christmas decorations for one-time use only, while more than 50 per cent have old electronic Christmas decorations such as lights and musical ornaments lying around gathering dust.
Sustainability Victoria’s Director of Communications and Engagement Katie Pahlow said now was the time for Victorians to be mindful shoppers leading into the holiday season.
“With Christmas fast approaching, and everyone in the spirit of giving, we want to remind Victorians to be conscious consumers over the next couple of weeks,” she said.
“Before buying any new electronic item for yourself or someone else, think about whether that item is really needed or wanted. If it is, we encourage people to ‘buy once, buy well’, investing in a good quality product that will last a long time, consume less energy and save you money in the long run.
“We all love to give gifts and treat ourselves over Christmas, but by being mindful shoppers, we can reduce the amount of waste we generate, and at the same time, minimise our impact on the environment.”
If an unwanted or unused electronic item can’t be donated, given away, sold or repaired, Victorians can safely dispose of their e-waste at a number of drop-off points across the state.
The Victorian Government has committed $15 million to upgrade the e-waste collection network across the state, with 122 sites planned or already upgraded. E-waste has been banned from going into any bin as of 1 July 2019.
For a full list of drop off points, please visit: ewaste.vic.gov.au
*Research: December 2019, 500 Victorians
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