The 50th consecutive Earth Day on April 22 was originally intended to be a spectacle, with global events and a level of consumer and family participation not seen in years. Numerous organizations planned and constructed outdoor activities in countries across the world, intended to drive participation and awareness to the 50th anniversary.
TCL had planned to host an Earth Day electronics recycling event in Maryland just outside Washington D.C. to lend those neighborhoods a helping hand with convenient electronics drop-off, and to sound the drumbeat for reusing or recycling electronics products. TCL has committed to raise awareness of the importance of electronics recycling, in partnership with the EPA’s America Recycles Day Pledge, and this event was one of many that had been planned for 2020. TCL was one of the first electronics manufacturers to back the EPA’s pledge, and our support in 2020 and beyond is critical to our TCLcares Program.
COVID-19 changed most of that. The majority of Earth Day events have either been postponed to later in 2020, cancelled, or have been adapted for the challenging times we’re in. With the pandemic compelling social distancing to stem the rise of COVID-19, Earth Day will mostly be held online this week. It obviously won’t be the celebration that was originally envisioned, so we won’t be leading another beach clean-up or holding local events this week, but seeing how far we’ve come after this 50th anniversary has the TCL team optimistic and looking forward to later in the summer.
TCL Earth Day Events Moving to August
We’ve postponed our Earth Day events and rescheduled them for August 22, remaining optimistic that we can still go ahead with providing these valuable services. We’ve proactively reserved this fourth weekend in August to host our originally-planned recycling event. Meantime, we continue to work with recyclers throughout the U.S. to run our various electronics collection programs as we navigate through this unprecedented situation.
TCL’s 2020 Goals Unchanged
We’re pleased to announce that we haven’t changed any of our recycling goals for 2020 and are excited to move forward with setting our sights high to exceed 30 million pounds in our award-winning Sustainability Program. It will certainly be a challenge, with a tremendous reduction in recycling in March and April while everyone focused on staying indoors and practicing responsible social distancing. And we’re anticipating that this will continue into May and June as well.
But this doesn’t change our objectives, and as everyone uses this time to do some spring cleaning and empty those cabinets, closets, and drawers of unused electronics, we hope you’ll put them aside until they can be reused or recycled.
Just remember: it’s about 13 times cheaper to recycle the parts of an electronics product then to mine the earth for new materials, and better for the planet.
Highest of Standards
We’re also implementing a new tracking technology into our Sustainability Program that will confirm all of our collectors and recyclers meet our strict guidelines. One of the challenges we face each day is to make sure every piece of electronics is managed properly and recycled, and not shipped overseas or taken to uncertified facilities. These trackers, randomly placed inside certain products, will allow us to see real-time where items are going.
We work with some tremendously talented recyclers, 100% of them accredited with R2 or e-Stewards certification, and boast partnerships with the leading companies in North America. But if any activities don’t meet our standards, we’ll immediately be able to make changes. Most importantly, we’ll be protecting local communities worldwide by continuing to set a high bar for our Sustainability Program.
I’ve never been prouder of the TCL Team as we continue to play a key role with our products in keeping consumers entertained with their families, and informed while working remotely, as we work to emerge from this unparalleled time. We continue to see comments from consumers that boast of the quality of their TCL TVs and sound bars, and our entire suite of appliances and mobile products, and we recognize that now more than ever we’re providing devices that are connecting families together when they truly need it.