Last week, we have celebrated earth day. Nowadays, the earth is facing many issues related to the environment, such as climate change, pollution, deforestation, etc. As the population increases, so does the waste. And in the last 2 decades, the technology has been growing rapidly changing people’s lifestyle. Many gadgets are no longer considered as a luxury, so we can buy them and we can easily replace one device with a new one. Every year, the vendors launch their new products. For instance, the big companies such as Apple, Samsung, Microsoft and more have their annual events to launch their new products, like a smartphone with the new technology inside.
What Is E-Waste?
Many people will replace their smartphone with a new one every year. What happens to the old smartphones? Some people might sell their phone, or give it to someone. Every time the new product comes, the older one becomes a waste . This kind of waste is called e-waste, the electronic waste. But, e-waste is more than just cell phone waste, it includes all the electronic waste that we no longer need or want.
Facts Regarding E-Waste
E-waste is more dangerous than the other waste because it contains both physical and chemical wastes that are toxic to the environment. Here are some facts regarding the e-waste.
- According to United Nations, 20-50 million metric tons of e-waste are disposed every year
- According to EPA, only 12.5% of e-waste is recycled.
- The United State contributes with around 9.4 million tons of e-waste every year (more than other countries).
- Developing countries became the landfill for e-waste. As the data from 2014 said, about 418 million metric tons of e-waste are discarded to developing countries.
- Guiyu, China has become the e-waste village .The waste mostly came from the U.S.
- From the EPA data in 2010, 350,000 mobile phones are dumped per day, which is 150 million phones per year.
- In America, e-waste contributes only 2% of trash in the landfill, but it equals to 70% of overall toxic waste.
What Can We Do To Solve The Issue?
Solving the e-waste issue completely is still too far. But, you can contribute to reducing the issue with some small steps and inspire more people. Here are the things you can do.
Donate Your Unused devices
How many devices do you have at home? How many of them are no longer used or wanted? Maybe you still keep your old desktop or laptop. You don’t need them anymore because you need faster performance and technology, but it doesn’t mean those devices cannot be used. If you don’t need it, it doesn’t mean someone else won’t find it useful. You can give it to your young brother/sister or a local school. That way, you don’t have to throw it away as a waste.
You can sell your old electronic devices even the broken ones. There are many companies or website offer such programs.
If you own the unused Apple products, such as iPhone, iPad, MacBook, and else, you can join Apple recycling program by visiting apple.com/recycling. This is one of Apple programs designed to deal with the environment issues, like climate change, to prevent the harmful toxins out of the ecosystem.
Can Modular Phone Reduce The Issue?
LG has just launched the first modular smartphone, LG G5. The concept is the idea of Dutch designer Dave Hakkens, but it was popularized by Google through their Project Ara. The modular phone idea is meant to reduce the electronic waste because you can modify it as you need. Instead of replacing the whole phone with the new one, you can only change the parts. The phone consist of a main board and the other parts are changeable. While the entire concept sounds great, many think that it will increase the e-waste rather than reduce it.