E- WASTE ISSUE
Can E-Waste be Eradicated from the World?
The rapid innovation and upgrading that is taking place in the world of technology today has never been seen before. If we talk about other gadgets and devices including electronic appliances, computers, laptops and mobile phones, then every day old models are becoming ineffective or useless due to innovation. We don't know what to do with an old mobile phone or charger lying in a drawer. What to do with an old laptop, monitor or printer that is rotting in the store or basement?
When we abandon these devices and adopt the latest versions or models of them, it gives rise to electronic waste or e-waste. Modern devices such as smartphones, even simple alarm clocks contain harmful chemicals such as lead, cadmium and mercury. When they are used and thrown away, their toxic substances enter the environment. According to experts, e-waste accounts for only 2% by volume of disposable waste, but e-waste accounts for an alarming 70% of waste that is harmful to the environment and human health.
The speed with which the economies of the modern world are developing and the very things on which they are growing are themselves causing great problems for the world. Electronic Waste or E-Waste is one of them. Most people know about e-waste because we often think of devices and devices that are no longer in use, but we do not plan or intend to dispose of them responsibly.
What do the statistics say ?
In 2016, in the United States alone, everyone threw an average of 44 pounds of e-waste. According to a recent United Nations report, the United States generates 6.3 million tons of e-waste annually, accounting for 14% of the world's e-waste. During 2016, 45 million tons (45 million tons) of e-waste was generated worldwide. It is also growing at an annual rate of 4%. Only 20% of such a large volume of e-waste is recycled in one form or another. The remaining 80% is part of open waste, which is more harmful to the environment.
E-waste is recycled in the United States and other developed countries to minimize its impact on the environment. However, recycling in the United States does not exceed 25% of total e-waste, and it is rarely said that a large portion of this 25% is actually shipped abroad. Some of this e-waste sent to developing and poor countries is made reusable, as there is a huge market for used computers, laptops, mobile phones and other gadgets.
Not only this, with the help of e-waste which is not reusable, minerals are extracted from it. For example, gold particles in circuit boards are washed with nitric and hydrochloric acids to separate them. This water goes into streams and oceans and makes it toxic. After going through all these stages, the e-waste, which is completely garbage, is thrown in the open fields. Currently, e-waste's responsible recycling rate worldwide is only 15.5%
Of course, the solution to this problem lies not in doubling recycling efforts, but also in taking further steps. A United Nations report has expressed concern that although more attention is being paid to e-waste recycling today than in the past, the faster new devices are being purchased and used, It is not possible to quickly recycle old used equipment.
The problem with e-waste becomes even more complex when it comes to the short 'life cycle' of new devices. Today, companies are rapidly launching new models of their products, which consumers are eager to buy. A United Nations report shows that today a new mobile phone is used for an average of 2 years on average, after which it is replaced.
Experts say that the devastating effects of e-waste on the environment can be reduced by increasing the maintenance, refurbishment and use of electronic devices in one form or another.
At the same time, companies should build devices with longer life cycles to significantly increase their average usage time and reduce e-waste. This is a practical and lasting way to protect the world from the harms of e-waste.