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Save the planet on Black Friday

Idele Prinsloo - 22 November 2023 - 0 comments

Old appliances and other electrical items that will be replaced with Black Friday deals can pose a threat to the environment if they are not discarded properly. This warning is raised by the non-profit organisation Circular Energy.

According to Circular Energy, anything that depends on an electrical current to work or products with a plug, cable or battery can – and should – be recycled when it will no longer be used. These items contain hazardous materials that are extremely harmful to the environment when they end up in landfill or elsewhere. In addition, for every gram of recyclable materials not recovered from these items, tonnes of raw material have to be mined or manufactured, causing further environmental harm.

South African consumers are not yet in the habit of recycling their unwanted electrical and electronic items, as the country is a few years behind other countries with the implementation of the so-called Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) regulations. The EPR regulations in South Africa require manufacturers, importers and resellers of recoverable items and materials to fund legally compliant recycling schemes through a Producer Responsibility Organisation (PRO).

A recent campaign managed by a different PRO and a large retailer showed that South Africans are eager to be rewarded for their unwanted electronic items. Rewards of this nature are however not sustainable and does not create awareness of the severity of the harm improperly disposed electronic items can have on environmental health.

Entrepreneurial-minded individuals are also profiting from South Africans wanting to make a few Rands from their unwanted appliances; buying unwanted electronic items, stripping them for parts and then dumping them in general waste landfills. In most cases both parties are unaware of the environmental damage that is caused by the improper disposal of electronic items once they have been stripped for parts. Any of these businesses that buy electronic items to fix and resell are also usually unaware that this practice now subjects them to comply with the EPR regulations as a reseller, with non-compliance resulting in imprisonment or heavy fines.

With Black Friday specials – and a resulting increase in e-waste – looming, Circular Energy appeals to all South Africans to see their unwanted electronic items not as a source of potential income, but to recognise it as a potential threat to the health of their children’s children.

A free nationwide collection service of unwanted electric and electronic items is available through to all South Africans that want to play their part in saving the planet, whether it be on Black Friday or beyond.


MEDIA CONTACT: Rosa-Mari Le Roux , 060 995 6277,,

For more information on Circular Energy please visit:


LinkedIn: Circular Energy

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