We are facing the edge of a global e-waste crisis. Whenever anything reaches the end of its life, whether it’s a cell phone, refrigerator, computer, laptop, television, microwave, printer, or even a water heater, it will be a deadly electronic waste. And it doesn’t end here.
Now the alarming facts are:
Due to increased spending power, the availability of electronics, and favorable recycling policies, the worldwide volume of e-waste generated in 2019 was 54 million metric tons. It makes e-waste the fastest-growing waste stream globally.
This increasing trend is expected to continue, with projections showing that by 2030, annual e-waste generation worldwide will have increased by approximately 30%.
China is the most significant contributor of electronic waste worldwide, generating more than 10 million metric tons ($10 billion) in 2019 alone. The United States was second, with approximately seven million metric tons ($7 billion) worth of e-waste produced in 2018.
In 2019, from 3.75 million to 10.72 million tons of e-waste were shipped to developing countries in Asia and Africa. The waste created a dumping problem for the local communities, but it also required billions of dollars worth of resources to transport the waste worldwide.
There’s much more to the story.
From plastic pollution to electronic waste to climate change, our planet faces a crisis. Let’s work together to create a waste-free world. Is e-waste recycling a viable option for a greener future? Yes, it might look like a David and Goliath battle, but it’s possible to fight against this problem. To achieve zero waste, we need skills and technology. Right now, we need a will to act. It could lead to a zero-waste economy and a circular economy.
If consumers refuse to buy products that can’t be repaired or recycled, then manufacturers won’t have a choice but to start thinking green. No matter what, they will have no choice but to design products that are simple enough to assemble and disassemble at the end of their lifespan. Consumers have to be ready to hold on to their electronics until the end of their life span.
Regulation and Legislation will.
In today’s society, e-waste has become a more prevalent issue. Electronic waste in landfills or being left abandoned or incinerated unsafely is too high. Lack of regulation and Legislation regarding e-waste disposal has led to a lack of public awareness of the potential hazards associated with exposure to these materials.
To solve this problem, the government must step in. A government program is necessary that allows consumers to trade in old devices for cash incentives when purchasing new ones. Manufacturers should have tax incentives to invest more money in developing environmentally friendly products, such as solar-powered devices.
E-waste management has been a long-standing international effort. For example, the Basel Convention was signed in 1989 and came into force in 1992. The Basel Convention prohibits developed countries from transporting hazardous waste, including e-waste, to less developed countries. Although 187 countries have ratified the treaty, e-waste continues to flow to developing countries. As a result, the convention allows the exportation of used electronics or nonhazardous e-waste that can be reused or recycled. We must revisit, strengthen, and enforce this treaty in every country, including the United States. Every country should be sustainable and responsible for recycling its electronic waste.
Despite improving consumer awareness of how to dispose of e-waste properly, it remains problematic for organizations to collect e-waste and dispose of it in a legally valid, safe, and environmentally friendly manner. Aggressively utilizing social media platforms to reach the intended audience is a valuable way to promote zero e-waste advocacy, eventually increasing the proper collection of e-waste.
A sound e-waste recycling system should be in place. Discarded digital materials should be collected and processed at the appropriate e-waste recycling facility. It is not a minor issue — it is a significant crisis that requires attention. While large companies are responsible for this crisis, small businesses can take steps to prevent further e-waste growth and make sure they are doing their part to help protect the environment. It’s time to collaborate with a responsible e-waste recycling facility. The goal is not only to properly dispose of old electronics but also to extract as much value as possible from them for reuse.
Urban E Recycling offers convenient, cost-effective, environmentally sound recycling services in Tampa, Sarasota, and Orlando if you live in Florida. They pick up old electronics from your home or workplace and responsibly recycle them. To schedule a FREE pickup, call (813) 512-6998, visit https://urbanerecycling.com, or visit their social media pages on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter.
The willingness to find a solution exists. We can solve the E-waste problem. It needs a fundamental change across all levels – the people, the government, and the industry working altogether. By changing our behavior and doing things differently, we can build a better world.
But the question remains.
Will we take those significant steps to bring about big change and ultimately fix the global e-waste problem?
Your answer lies in your decision to act now.