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Government failing to take Britain's ‘e-waste tsunami’ seriously

THE government is failing take Britain’s tsunami of electronic waste seriously, a Commons select committee said today.

Ministers were warned by the environmental audit committee four years ago about the impact of e-waste, which can release toxic chemicals that damage human and animal health.

The committee outlined 27 recommendations to manage and curb the amount of waste.

It said the government accepted one recommendation and “partly accepted” 22 others, yet none of them has been delivered.

The committee wrote to Environment Secretary Steve Barclay saying that it was disappointed at the lack of progress.

It expressed concerns over the Environment Department’s resources and waste strategy, which has been “beset by delays.”

Committee chairman Philip Dunne warned that the government is “yet to grasp fully the scale of the e-waste tsunami.

“Four years on, we are yet to see many of these initiatives make it into policy or be reflected in its current consultation on e-waste.”

The committee has estimated that every British household owns about 20 unused electrical items — and enough unused cables to go around the world five times.

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