Oh My God I Threw Out All This Stuff And I Was Like WEEE!
April 28, 2005 11:15 AM   Subscribe

The WEEE Man is a huge 3 ton figure standing 7 metres high and is composed entirely of WEEE (Waste Electronic and Electrical Equipment)--from washing machines to mobile phones and electronic toys. The WEEE Man represents the amount of waste a single person in the UK is likely to produce in a lifetime. Measure your own footprint here.
posted by fandango_matt (13 comments total)

 
More about the WEEE Man and the Zero Waste Society.
posted by fandango_matt at 11:21 AM on April 28, 2005


Weee man appears to be half the man he ought to be.
posted by crunchland at 11:26 AM on April 28, 2005


Wee Man?
posted by Robot Johnny at 11:28 AM on April 28, 2005


Weeee!
posted by kindall at 11:29 AM on April 28, 2005


looks like we wasted and trashed their electrical server environment already
posted by PurplePorpoise at 11:38 AM on April 28, 2005


The statistics are truly amazing. I'd like statistics for consumption in the USA.

kindall: truly bizarre. and funny. now I've got "gonads and strife, gonads and strife, gonads and strife" stuck in my head. thanks.
posted by horseblind at 12:34 PM on April 28, 2005


Weee.
posted by StickyCarpet at 1:24 PM on April 28, 2005


I'm glad a guy called "StickyCarpet" linked that.
posted by NinjaPirate at 1:40 PM on April 28, 2005


Looks rather large to me. I wonder if anyone has bothered to tell them that this so-called "WEEE Man" is not very "wee" at all.
posted by redteam at 1:44 PM on April 28, 2005


From the last link:

A fourteen year old boy with a rack amp arrangement? I wish *I* grew up in 21st century USA.
posted by armoured-ant at 2:07 PM on April 28, 2005


This is exactly why so many Green groups don't get anywhere with business.

Instead of advocating a system which would induce companies to willingly participate in it, they prefer to take an adversarial attitude to business:

All companies that manufacture or produce electrical and electronic products will be required to meet the requirements of both the WEEE and RoHS directives.

The proper way to get somewhere with business would be to encourage development of lower waste non-proprietary upgradeable electronic systems by way of government sponsored development programs. Or, if it isn't proper, it's at least better.

Yep, you'll all pay for it, maybe in higher taxes, or some other manner. Did you think you'd get away with not paying for the business' cost if it were done in a punitive manner like this? LOLLERCOPTER^10e06.
posted by shepd at 7:47 PM on April 28, 2005


This is exactly why so many Green groups don't get anywhere with business.

Green Groups? The EU? The RSA (The Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures & Commerce)?

You could equally say 'this is exactly why the state doesn't get anywhere with crimials. They take an adversarial attitude to crime.'

All this directive is asking is that manufacturers shoulder some of the burden of the disposal of their products, which seems fair enough to me. It may mean higher prices. Or it may mean that manufacturers are encouraged to make goods with longer lifecycles.

It's not just about manufacturers funding disposal. It's about designing and specifying goods in a more ethical and sustainable manner, paying attention to how much energy those goods consume during their life, how long that life should be and how they can be designed to be easily recyclable. In other words thinking about the entire environmental footprint.

If you want to know the full story, read the WEEE Man creator's article about it here.

And can I do a self link because I wrote about it too.
posted by Summer at 3:26 AM on April 29, 2005


You could equally say 'this is exactly why the state doesn't get anywhere with crimials. They take an adversarial attitude to crime.'

Actually, that's exactly what Canada *does* say. Our justice system is intended to treat criminals as reformable individuals that can be re-accepted into society. We avoid extreme punitive methods to acheive that purpose. To that end, we do not even permit the worst of the worst a true life sentence, preferring to limit absolute maximum sentences to 25 years.

Despite this Canada's crime rate is enviable, compared to that of many other country's.

[you probably weren't expecting that, were you?]

Green Groups? The EU? The RSA (The Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures & Commerce)?

And who do you think came up with this idea in the first place?

Very similar initiatives often get spurred here, and the root cause is always from a staunch ideologist with an environmental background (but rarely any economics background).

Often the initiatives tend to be quickly scrapped because there is usually little to no support from rural areas on such projects. Why? Results of these programs almost always include illegal dumping of expensive to dispose of waste in rural areas. It's bad enough seeing tires littered around my town (yup, I live in a rural area).

It may mean higher prices. Or it may mean that manufacturers are encouraged to make goods with longer lifecycles.

It *always* means higher prices. That is how markets correct themselves against non-competitive initiatives. The results are simply that all the costs are passed onto the consumer, because they are uniform.

I suppose to break that cycle you could randomly pick some companies that don't have to pay, and some that do, but that would not only be unfair, but obviously one set of companies goes out of business and another set don't.

The other choice is to increase the punishment dealt to companies to the point that the cheaper alternative is actually the better alternative. But to do that, governments will have such high damage collection rates that they will not survive a vote (Eg: Price of a VCR for consumers jumps from $50 to $500).

As it stands, consumer products will likely rise in price by 10% or more due to this initiative (6% at the industrial level will obviously translate to more at the consumer level). In my country we voted a government out of office for 4 terms for introducing a new tax of only 7%.

But hey, whatever works best for you guys. It's been years since I've bought anything made in the EU anyways, so it won't affect me. Last thing I recall was my 10 year old Philishave.
posted by shepd at 9:05 AM on April 29, 2005


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