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‘Mount Recyclemore’ sculpted from e-waste ahead of G7 summit

A giant sculpture made from electronic waste has been constructed across the water from a hotel in Cornwall, where this year’s G7 summit is being hosted.

The artwork depicts the faces of the world’s seven most powerful democratic leaders and aims to draw attention to e-waste that is generated by devices not recycled or resold each year.

According to a report published by the UN, 53.6 million tonnes of electronic waste was generated worldwide in 2019. If trends continue as they have over the last 5 years, we can expect this number to increase to 74 million tonnes by 2030.

The countries which make up the G7 are the UK, US, Canada, France, Germany, Italy and Japan. Alone, G7 nations contribute 15.9 million tonnes towards this figure of e-waste annually.

The hope is that upon arrival for the summit in Cornwall, world leaders will fly over and catch a glimpse of ‘Mount Recyclemore’ just as they are preparing to engage in talks about dealing with climate change and building a greener future.

Made from old phones, tablets, laptops and other various electronics, the sculpture is a clever call for the leaders to address the amount of waste produced by discarded electronics, which has become a growing problem for the environment.

Joe Rush, who worked on building the sculpture, is urging for changes in the ways our electronic devices are made. He said: ‘They need to be repairable or made to last longer because the stuff is going into landfill.’

Steve Oliver is the founder and CEO of musicMagpie, the electronic resale company which commissioned the giant sculpture.

‘Everything from our phones to our laptops rely heavily on precious materials to operate, which are not only limited resources, but also directly impact climate change when being extracted from the earth,’ said Oliver.

‘If sent to landfills, e-waste can leak harmful chemicals into the soil and water or if incinerated, fumes release chemicals into the air, contributing to global warming.’

As part of its Mount Recyclemore project, musicMagpie has connected with global waste management charity WasteAid. Throughout the month of June, musicMagpie will donate £1 to the charity for each electronic device customers trade in with them.

Clearly, something must be done to reduce the amount of waste our electronics leave behind once we are done with them.

Better public education, problem-solving discussions amongst governments, and innovative methods of repurposing old electronics will have to become a core focus as our reliance on these devices grows.

As the G7 summit begins today, we can look forward to hearing the outcome of discussions on tackling climate change and efforts to create greener, more sustainable practices in tech.


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