Top 6 E-Waste Facts You Need To Know By Now – Manila Newsletter
Nothing lasts forever, they say – gadgets included. These are usually traded or discarded for newer and more advanced models. Such behavior, however, has a negative impact on the environment and our health.
To address this concern, Globe’s E-Waste Zero program advocates for responsible disposal and recycling of electronic waste. It allows anyone to donate their old non-functional electronic devices.
âRecognizing how irresponsible and unsystematic disposal of electronic waste can potentially impact the environment and our lives, we have strived to proactively find and create more viable solutions that will reduce the adverse effects of electronic waste. electronic waste, âsaid Yoly Crisanto, Globe Chief Sustainability Policy Officer and SVP for corporate communications.
To expand our knowledge of electronic waste, what it is and why we need to be careful about disposing of it, here are the answers to some frequently asked questions.
1) What is e-waste?
The United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) and the DENR-Environmental Management Bureau (DENR-EMB) define electronic waste as any old, non-functional and end-of-life device, covering all waste electrical equipment and electronics (WEEE) and its components. Some of the more familiar items in this category include old cell phones, broken chargers, laptops, desktops, and other electronic gadgets. It can also include small and large household appliances as well as consumer, lighting, sports, medical, surveillance and control equipment.
2) What is the current magnitude of the problem of electronic waste?
It is estimated that more than 50 million metric tons of electronic waste are produced worldwide each year. UNEP estimates that of this number, only 20% are officially recycled and 80% end up in landfills, posing a threat to both the environment and human health. In the Philippines, the DENR-Environmental Management Bureau (DENR-EMB) also considers electronic waste to be one of the fastest growing waste streams.
3) Are they not recycled by those engaged in the junkyard trade, and are they a source of income for the informal sector?
This is where the danger lies. Electronic waste is made up of different toxic and hazardous materials, which makes the recycling process risky. Although the informal sector can benefit, their dismantling and recycling methods are not aligned with approved government and health standards. In fact, the United Nations Environment Program cited in its 2019 report that âinformal and rudimentary recycling methods, along with uncontrolled disposal, are responsible for significant releases of hazardous chemicals in many developing countries. development, having an impact on human health and the environment at the local level. Women and children, as well as those living near recycling sites, remain among the most vulnerable groups. Therefore, programs that help transition from the informal to the formal sector are beneficial to the environment, health and livelihoods of local communities.
4) What are some of the elements found in electronic waste and how can they actually harm us?
According to the Global E-waste Monitor 2020 report, produced through a collaboration between various organizations such as the United Nations University, the World Health Organization and the International Solid Waste Association, electronic gadgets and their batteries contain several toxic additives or hazardous substances such as mercury, brominated flame retardants (BFR) and chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) or hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs).
The increasing levels of e-waste, low collection rates and environmentally unfriendly disposal and treatment of this waste stream pose significant risks to the environment. E-waste in landfills contaminates soil and groundwater, affecting food and water sources, posing risks to human health.
5) What are the advantages of good recycling of electronic waste?
First of all, it helps to conserve natural resources since materials from old electronics can be used to make new products. Proper recycling of electronic waste can protect the environment because it reduces the amount of hazardous waste that can end up in landfills and waterways. It also prevents health risks, especially for those who are settled in informal communities. Finally, it saves space in landfills by diverting materials to recycling plants.
6) What actually happens to electronic waste when it is disposed of properly and responsibly?
Once collected, they are turned over to accredited treatment, storage and disposal (TSD) facilities that have the capacity and technology to handle hazardous waste. Materials deemed still useful undergo certain processes which may include crushing and sorting where a filter separates the remaining non-metallic powders. The processed metal powder is then processed to recover gold, silver and palladium and is ready to be reused as “brand new” raw materials.
Join the movement to reduce electronic waste! Small practical e-waste can be dropped off during participation Globe Stores at national scale. For the one-off transport of bulky electronic waste weighing 10 kg and more, a request for free home pick-up can be made via https://www.globe.com.ph/about-us/sustainability/environment.html. Interested organizations can also contact Globe to explore long-term partnerships regarding its E-waste Zero program by sending an email to [emailÂ protected]
Globe remains committed to the 10 principles of the United Nations Global Compact and contributes to 10 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals such as UNSDG No. 12, which is to promote sustainable consumption and production to achieve economic growth and development. sustainable, urgently reducing the ecological footprint, increasing resource efficiency, and promoting sustainable lifestyles.
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