Electronic waste, simply known as e-waste, is an increasing threat to human health as well as the environment as a whole. Dated mobile phones, computers, discarded industrial electronic equipment, etc. are some of the examples of our ever-increasing e-waste pile.
Annually, the world generates 20-50 million MT of e-waste with India alone generating a staggering 3 million MT of electronic waste.
This growing issue garnered attention due to its serious effects. From the government to the industries as well as the consumers are taking efforts to control the effects by resorting to reuse and recycling.
So, why is electronic waste recycling imperative?
· Extraction of Raw materials
Electronic waste contains a vast amount of raw materials. Precious metals like gold, silver are recovered from proper recycling of e-waste. Here’s a fact, globally, only 10%-15% of gold from e-waste is recovered successfully while the rest is lost. Also, according to United Nations, precious metals discovered in e-waste are estimated to be 40 to 50 times richer than ores mined from earth.
· Accumulating Solid Waste
The growing solid waste has made it difficult to manage it effectively. Consumers’ use of electronic devices has decreased to the rapid advancement in technology causing rapid generation of solid waste.
· Heavy Toxic Materials
One of the biggest threats of accumulating e-waste is that it contains heavy toxic metals like mercury, cadmium, lead, etc. If not recycled properly before dumping, these material s seep into the environment and damage it.
· Movement of e-waste
Countries globally are transporting e-waste and dumping them into other countries. The countries where the waste ends up have cheap labor with no advanced recycling techniques. Without proper recycling, the local population is exposed to toxic waste which has caused health risks and is a growing concern.
Follow the mantra – Reduce. Re-use. Recycle. – for a better Earth, a better future.