Only last year, around as many as 166 million laptops and 1.52 billion smartphones were sold worldwide. These high numbers do not even include non-smartphone mobiles nor desktop computers. The forecasts show that the numbers will increase even more in the future. Could you imagine the environmental pollution if we do not recycle these kinds of technology products when there is no more use for them?
The excitement of purchasing a new technological device is spectacular. Brand-new feeling, sophisticated design, updated applications, faster and more reliable operating systems… But unfortunately, we barely think of what to do with the old one. This is why over 42.3 million tons of E-Waste were produced so far in 2020 as of November. To make things clear, what this number means in other words is throwing away 1000 laptops every single second. It is shocking!
What happens to technological devices when they become Electronic Waste? One of the main principles in waste management is “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle”. We should be altering our consumption habits to stop the devastating effects of E-Waste pollution. If possible, it is important to Reuse our devices. Local charities accept old devices and distribute them to people who are in need.
When a device becomes obsolete, there are two ways to deal with it. The first and worst way is just throwing away. The second and better option is recycling. Throwing away causes toxic pollution which will harm the environment dramatically. On the contrary, recycling has many benefits such as preventing the production of ecologically dangerous materials and decreasing energy consumption.
Electronic Waste contains many chemicals that should not be found in the environment. Some of those chemicals include Mercury, Arsenic, Chromium, Vinyl Chloride, Cadmium, Lead, DDT, PCB and so on. Improperly throwing away these monstrous chemicals could cause birth defects, damaged organs, and even death.
Unfortunately, the pollution keeps infecting the soil, air, water and our body. Most of the farmers in Developing Countries are faced with losing their jobs because the soils are densely polluted. Even worse, the foods are contaminated with toxic elements and some people do not have another option but to eat these foods. Reports are tragic! Elevated levels of Lead, flows in 80% of Asian children’s circulatory systems.
The better alternative to get rid of Electronic Waste is to give it to recycling facilities. This method is called E-Recycling. Number of these facilities will always increase because even only in Europe, generation of E-Waste per capita is 16 kilograms! In the 16 kilograms, you can find microwaves, cameras, dishwashers, washing machines, screens, computers or phones, toner cartridges, batteries, lamps and so on!
Why not have your car bumpers or musical instruments made out of recycled Lawn Mowers? It is even possible to produce cases or pipe fittings because mowers contain ABS plastic which could be used in production as a raw material. The copper motor could be used for the production of wires in electronic products. Not to mention, jewellery and coins could also be produced out of the recycled copper motor!
Don’t know what to do with your old game consoles? Recycling has an answer! The steel used in manufacturing the consoles could be reused for producing car parts, beams and computer casings. Shockingly, it is possible to make jewellery or smartphone components from the precious metals used in your consoles such as palladium, platinum, gold and silver!
Here is what to do with the 1.52 billion future E-Waste! Smartphones could be used to galvanize steel and prevent rusting on ships by using the zinc components!
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