Technology has completely taken over our world. From smartphones to smart TVs and smart cars, almost everything that we use today has a motherboard in it. The majority of the world uses technology in some form or another. And while this tech has drastically improved the lives of humans, it has created an unintended and serious problem: e-waste. While e-waste might sound like a term for your junk emails, it is a very real problem plaguing our planet. In essence, e-waste applies to any tech product that has reached the end of its life cycle, and is then thrown away.
Why is e-waste such a problem?
The issue with e-waste stems from the fact that, much like traditional recyclable materials, these products are not recycled in a proper manner. In fact, the European Association of Electrical and Electronic Waste (WEEE Forum) claims that only 20% of e-waste is recycled every year. That means that 88,184,912,000 pounds of e-waste is left to rot in landfills or burned improperly. This hurts the environment tremendously seeing as how several tech products include materials that are hazardous to the environment.
In order to combat this worldwide issue, the WEEE Forum has teamed up with multiple countries and worldwide organizations to establish the first-ever International E-Waste Day. Much like any other international event, this day is designed to promote awareness of the harmful effects of e-waste. The forum plans on promoting this awareness by devising and hosting multiple events, such as conferences and store promotions in order to educate and put these tactics into practice.
This initiative is a lofty one, but an important one nonetheless. I personally believe that International E-Waste Day is a terrific idea. So many people in today’s world understand the importance of technology, but they don’t care about what happens to their tech after they’re finished using it.
According to an article from WasteManagementWorld.com, the Secretary General of the WEEE Forum, Pascal Leroy, shared just how little the world recycles technology properly. He stated that even the world’s leading e-waste recycling union, the EU, has low rates of recycling (35% of e-waste is reported as properly recycled). With these brand new initiatives, the WEEE Forum is hoping to spark an e-waste recycling frenzy.