How a Formula E racecar was built entirely from recycled electronic waste

Have you ever wondered what happens to your old electronics when you throw them away? 

Do you know that they can end up in landfills, polluting the environment and wasting valuable resources? 

Well, one Formula E team has found a creative way to turn electronic waste (e-waste) into a racing car that can compete with the best in the world.

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Formula E car 1

The Recover-E race car (Envision Racing)

What is E-waste?

E-waste is any discarded electrical or electronic device that is no longer useful or wanted. It can include anything from disposable vapes, mobile phones, laptops, MP3 players, plugs and batteries.

According to the Global E-waste Monitor, the world generated 53.6 million tonnes (118 billion pounds) of e-waste in 2019, and this figure is expected to reach 75 million tonnes (165 billion pounds) by 2030. E-waste is not only a huge waste of resources, but also a major source of pollution and greenhouse gas emissions.

Why is E-waste so dangerous?

E-waste contains toxic substances such as lead, mercury, and cadmium, which can leach into the soil and water, harming wildlife and human health. Also, e-waste often ends up in developing countries, where workers dismantle it without proper protection or equipment, exposing themselves and their communities to hazardous materials.

Why is e-waste so hard to manage?

One of the main reasons why e-waste is so hard to manage is that many people are unaware of its impacts and how to dispose of it properly. There is also a lack of effective policies and regulations to promote e-waste reduction, reuse, and recycling. Furthermore, there is a shortage of adequate infrastructure and facilities to collect, transport, and process e-waste safely and efficiently.

How Envision Racing is driving change with an e-waste race car

Envision Racing is the team behind the world’s first Formula E car made entirely out of e-waste. Envision Racing is not only a leading Formula E team, but also a champion of sustainability. Its Race Against Climate Change program aims to inspire and empower fans and the public to take action on climate change.

Formula E car 2

The Recover-E race car being built (Envision Racing)

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As part of this program, the team decided to create a car that would raise awareness of e-waste and its solutions. They teamed up with Liam Hopkins, a British artist and designer who specializes in creating sculptures and installations from recycled materials. They also collaborated with Music Magpie, a U.K. tech business that buys and sells used electronics, to source the e-waste for the car.

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Liam Hopkins, left, and Aidan Gallagher stand next to the Recover-E race car. (Envision Racing)

The e-waste car by the numbers

The result is the Recover-E car, a full-size, drivable Formula E Gen3 car made entirely out of e-waste. The car weighs 2,645 pounds and can reach speeds of up to 174 mph.

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It is composed of various electronic products, such as laptops, keyboards, mice, phones, vapes, batteries, and wires. The car demonstrates how e-waste can be repurposed and reused in a creative and innovative way, rather than being thrown away and forgotten.

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The Recover-E race car (Envision Racing)

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How the e-waste car is a symbol of a larger campaign

The Recover-E car is not just a car, but a symbol of a larger campaign to tackle e-waste and climate change. The Recover-E campaign aims to increase awareness of the human impact of e-waste and the need to reuse and recycle old electrical products.

It also seeks to educate and encourage people to take action on e-waste and climate change, by making pledges, donating or selling their e-waste, and supporting renewable energy and electric mobility.

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AIdan Gallagher, a NEP Goodwill Ambassador, drives the Recover-E race car. (Envision Racing)

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The Recover-E campaign activities and events

The campaign has organized and participated in various activities and events to spread its message and reach a wider audience. For example, it launched the Recover E-Waste to Race competition, inviting young people to create their own e-waste cars out of recycled electronic materials. The winners were announced at the London ePrix, the final race of the 2022/23 Formula E season, where the Recover-E car was also unveiled.

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Recover E-Waste race car (Envision Racing)

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The car then traveled to COP28, the UN climate change conference, where it was displayed, attracting the attention of many onlookers. The car will also head to Davos, Switzerland, in the New Year, to take the issue of e-waste to the global leaders and decision-makers.

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A Recover E-Waste to Race competition (Envision Racing)

 The campaign has achieved impressive results, such as generating 50,000 e-waste pledges and gaining recognition from influential figures and organizations. Most importantly, the campaign has inspired and engaged young people and fans around the world to join the Race Against Climate Change and make a difference.

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How you can reduce and recycle

This is a good opportunity for you to think about your own e-waste and how you can reduce it and recycle it. Here are some tips on how you can do that:

  • Buy less and buy better. Choose quality over quantity, and opt for durable and repairable products that last longer and have less environmental impact.
  • Sell or donate your old electronics. Instead of throwing them away, you can sell them to a reputable company, or donate them to a charity or a school that can use them or refurbish them.
  • Recycle your e-waste properly. Find out where and how you can recycle your e-waste in your area, and make sure you follow the instructions and guidelines. You can also look for certified e-waste recyclers that ensure safe and responsible handling of e-waste.
  • Support renewable energy and electric mobility. By switching to green energy and electric vehicles, you can reduce your carbon footprint and help fight climate change. You can also support initiatives and policies that promote renewable energy and electric mobility.

MORE: HOW TO RECYCLE YOUR OLD ELECTRONICS INTO AMAZON GIFT CARDS

Kurt’s key takeaways

Envision Racing has created the world’s first Formula E car made entirely out of e-waste. This car is part of a larger campaign to raise awareness and action on e-waste and climate change. E-waste is a global challenge that affects the environment and society. Hats off to the Envision Racing team for creating the Formula E-waste race car. What a creative way to showcase the potential of recycling and reuse.

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How do you feel about the e-waste problem, and what are some ways that you try to reduce, reuse, or recycle your old electronics? Let us know by writing us at Cyberguy.com/Contact.

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