New Survey on Children’s Knowledge of Electronic Waste


Cartoon Network has published a new survey about children’s understanding of electronic waste (e-waste), finding that the majority of kids aged 6 to 11 have heard of it but few know what it means.

The survey, prompted by the UN noting that e-waste is the fastest growing domestic waste stream and the World Health Organization calling it “the next growing threat to the environment,” found that kids in Poland, Turkey and South Africa were more familiar with e-waste than their peers in the U.K. and France. Of those surveyed, 87 percent reported having at least one e-waste item at home, with kids’ toys, headphones and tablets among the top three.

The survey highlights the need for more education on e-waste, with only 47 percent of kids in Poland, 37 percent in Turkey, 28 percent in South Africa, 19 percent in the U.K. and 17 percent in France knowing what e-waste means. Even with those reported numbers, only 26 percent of U.K. kids and 19 percent of French children can link e-waste with the correct definition, in stark contrast to 81 percent of Polish young ones.

Though 87 percent of children reported having at least one e-waste item at home, many said they store e-waste items at home or throw them away.

In response to the survey’s results, Cartoon Network is launching a new cross-platform, e-waste campaign in EMEA in partnership with Envision Racing to inform, engage and empower children on the subject.

Cartoon Network Climate Champions’ new e-waste video content will air on Cartoon Network. This includes a “Guide to e-Waste” video that explains what e-waste is, why it is an important issue and the basics of we can help tackle it. Cartoon Network will also air e-waste promos, explaining issues around e-waste with a call to action, and share weekly uploads to its social and YouTube channels.

In addition, kids will be able to find new informative content on the Cartoon Network Climate Champions app and website, including new e-waste challenges, new facts and trivia about e-waste, new quizzes, new voting cards and new videos featuring real kids talking about the issue of electronic waste.

Among the e-waste challenges are “Device Rescue Mission,” where children check their homes for old electronic devices that can be recycled; “No Crossed Wires,” which involves taking care of chargers by preventing damage from wire tangles; and the “Phone Numbers!” challenge, where kids count the number of mobile phones in their homes.

Cartoon Network will also be integrating the Climate Champions initiative in Cartoon Network Game On! on Roblox. Kids will be able to tackle e-waste challenges in the metaverse.

Also, Cartoon Network and Envision Racing launched a Climate E-Racers mini game, allowing players to race each other in vehicles customized with e-waste collected in the game.

“E-waste is highly relevant to children, yet our research indicates a notable gap between their intentions and actions, primarily due to a lack of knowledge on proper disposal methods,” said Monika Oomen, VP of brand, comms and digital content strategy at Warner Bros. Discovery. “It is encouraging to witness the agency among kids, and our goal is to help translate their intentions into meaningful actions.”