Have you ever heard of "electronic waste" or E-Waste? It is essentially just as it sounds — any electronic product that has been discarded and ended up in a landfill.
But how are you contributing to it?
It contains any sort of electrical and electronic device. They come from our houses, offices or even from school projects. These items contain toxic chemicals such as plastics other than PVC, cadmium and lead. Many of these harmful elements contaminate soil and water causing a significant threat to human health and the environment.
The problem isn't just at home but on a much larger scale. The growth of the IT and communication sectors has led to an exponential increase in electronic equipment. Because these devices are upgraded so frequently, consumers find themselves discarding old electronic devices very quickly—which means an increasing amount of e-waste is entering the solid waste stream.
The e-waste problem is only getting worse, and more attention needs to be focused on recycling it and better disposal of it.
The volume of e-waste generated each year is growing by at least 5 per cent around the world. India alone creates up to 146,000 tonnes of e-waste per year, and this number doesn't even include waste imports. Out of all this waste, less than 2 per cent is recycled and reused.
The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change introduced rules for e-waste management in 2016 to reduce waste generation and promote recycling. Under these rules, producers now have to collect anywhere between 30 per cent to 70 per cent of the electronic waste they produce.
As a citizen, you too have an important role to play!
Do not throw out e-waste in garbage bags with regular waste. If you have old laptops, phones, and other gadgets, try to trade it in when you go for an upgrade.
You can even sell it to your local shops as spare parts are always useful. Another way you can tackle e-waste is by donating your old gadgets.
So grab that motivation by the hand, segregate your garbage and most importantly recycle your electronic waste!