Digital TV switchover bad for the environment
Digital UK should tell the public to save the planet, and cash, and not throw out TVs.
As north west England switches over to digital TV this week, Ethical Consumer magazine is calling on Digital UK to reduce the environmental impact of the digital switchover by encouraging the public not to throw out their existing televisions, something which would save people money as well.
An investigation by Ethical Consumer magazine has revealed that in south west England and Cumbria where the digital switchover happened this summer, thousands of televisions that were capable of receiving digital TV by adding a set-top box have been needlessly thrown away.
Between April and September this year Devon County Council handled over 80,000 unwanted televisions, an increase of almost 100% on the same period last year.
A similar picture has emerged in Cumbria where Cumbria County Council handled over 50,000 unwanted televisions. This represents an increase of nearly 70% compared to same period last year. Of these 30,000 were able to receive digital TV by simply adding a set-top box.
Whilst EU law now prevents old televisions from being dumped in landfills, throwing away televisions that are able to receive digital TV still has a negative environmental impact. This is because the making of new digital televisions uses finite resources and energy. This is something that directly contributes to the growing global problem of climate change.
Simon Birch who carried out the research on behalf of Ethical Consumer Magazine said:
“Digital UK is currently failing to tell the public of the environmental cost of throwing away their televisions. The message is simple: if your existing television can be adapted to getting digital TV then don’t chuck it out but instead buy an Energy Saving Trust recommended low-energy set-top box. You’ll be doing the planet a favour as well as saving yourself a whole load of money.”