Growth in the IT and communication sectors has enhanced the usage of the electronic equipment exponentially. Faster upgradation of electronic product is forcing consumers to discard old electronic products very quickly, which, in turn, adds to e-waste to the solid waste stream. The growing problem of e-waste calls for greater emphasis on recycling e-waste and better e-waste management.
Computers, mobile devices, televisions, sound systems, chargers and even household appliances are all recyclable, yet they can also be the most dangerous materials when not managed responsibly. When improperly disposed of, the heavy metals, plastics and glass in e-waste can pollute the air or seep into waterways. Recycling e-waste can significantly decrease the demand for mining heavy metals and reduce the greenhouse gas emissions from manufacturing virgin materials.
India stands at 168 from 180 countries in Environmental Performance Index 2020. This was linked to poor performance in the environment health policy and deaths due to air pollution categories. Also, India is 3rd largest e-waste producer (3230 kT) after China(10000kT) and USA(6000kT) based on the Globale E-waste Monitor 2020. Since 2018, India generates more than two million tons of e-waste annually. Dumping in open dumpsites is a common sight which gives rise to issues such as groundwater contamination, poor health, and more.
Consumers are the key to better management of e-waste. Below are some of Initiatives that are in practice and are followed widely:
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle (3Rs)
The first line of defense in minimizing e-waste is to reduce purchases of new electronic devices and electrical equipment. Think twice before buying a new electronic gadget when an upgrade or new device becomes available. Not buying new stuff is good for the environment and your wallet.
Another way to reduce e-waste is to redeploy existing items to new owners. How many people have an old cell phone or laptop stashed as a backup that never gets used? Used electronic devices can be put to good use by other people
- Regift to a friend or a family member
- Donate to a school, community center, nonprofit
Repair or Recycle
When electronic devices and electrical equipment break down, they can often be repaired. People may choose to toss out the old unit and buy a new replacement because it seems cheaper and less hassle.
It may require a little extra effort to repair an item or have it repaired. There is a growing movement for do-it-yourself electronic gadget repair which is good for the environment, empowers people, and often saves money.
E-waste contains valuable materials as well as potentially toxic substances and can be safely recycled to recover metals and other materials for reuse and dispose of toxins appropriately. Be-Responsible can help you in e-waste recycle. Connect with us today
Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR)
Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) is a policy approach under which producers are given a significant responsibility – financial and/or physical – for the treatment or disposal of post-consumer products. Assigning such responsibility could in principle provide incentives to prevent wastes at the source, promote product design for the environment and support the achievement of public recycling and materials management goals
Design for the Environment (DfE)
Design for the Environment is a design approach to reduce the overall human health and environmental impact of a product, process, or service, where impacts are considered across its life cycle.