Electronic waste, e-waste or junk technology refers to all electrical and electronic products that have been discarded or discarded, such as computers, phones, televisions and appliances. According to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) electronic waste is all electricity powered device whose useful life has expired. The Basel Convention in turn defines e-waste as any equipment or unable electronic component to accomplish the task for which they originally were invented and produced, and these to be disposed become e-waste.
Electronic waste is characterized by rapid growth due to the rapid obsolescence are acquiring electronic equipment and the increased demand for these around the world, among other factors, so the UN estimates produced around 50 million tonnes of such waste per year .
Inadequate treatment of electronic waste or e-waste can cause serious impacts on the environment and endanger the health of mankind in general.
exists Walt Disney film that tries to raise awareness about garbage pollution both electronic and otherwise, called Wall-e ..
One of the reasons is due to technological innovation, it has had in the last half century unprecedented growth; this has enabled technologies in costly, complex and targeted to a specific audience beginning today are economic, simple and easily usable in everyday life.
This constant technological development creates a permanent replacement of electrical and electronic equipment that are consumed domestically; new features and models of devices; greater accessibility by decreasing costs and constant supply of “novelty”, make these products becoming obsolete faster.
Because of this, the other side of this “boom” of mass consumption of electrical and electronic equipment is the explosion in the generation of electronic waste, which contains toxic chemicals and heavy metals, while valuable materials such as gold, silver, platinum or copper.
Televisions are other devices that are selling and promoting the growth of e-waste; the factors that have contributed to make it happen were: in 2010, the World Cup in South Africa and the financing plans of commercial chains appliances, but certainly the big momentum turnover apparatus is given by the emergence of digital television, creating an explosion of e-waste in countries that do not yet have an infrastructure for the collection, reuse and recycling of this kind of “waste”.
The speed with which this mountain of obsolete electronic products is growing generate a crisis of enormous proportions unless electronics industry corporations, who profit by manufacturing and selling these devices, take responsibility.
For 5 years Greenpeace urged a national law on management of waste electrical and electronic equipment under the extended producer responsibility, which requires manufacturers to take responsibility for their own waste products and promotes a system of improved production stage eliminating toxic substances in devices and .disminución consumption, which should be promoted and implemented worldwide
Associated environmental problems
There are several damage to health and the environment generated by various components of the contaminants present in e-waste, especially mercury, which causes damage to the brain and nervous system; lead, which enhances the intellectual decline, as it has harmful effects on the brain and entire circulatory system also cadmium, which produces reproductive failure and even possibility of infertility, among other things; and chromium, which causes problems in the kidneys and bones; PVC plastic is also widely used; a cell, for example, contains 500 to 1000 different compounds.
These dangerous substances cause pollution and expose workers in the manufacture of these products; Also the placement of such waste in the trash, or fingertips of garbage collectors, is jeopardizing the health of people and the environment, because they contain hazardous components such as lead-ray tubes cathode and welds, arsenic in the tubes of older cathode ray, etc.
While cell phones, monitors and TVs are in our homes do not generate pollution hazards; but when mixed with other garbage and broken, these toxic metals are released and can be fatal, have some computer much at home and at work, and although the life of the equipment is estimated in ten years , after about three or four have become obsolete due to the requirements of new programs and new versions of operating systems, so this constant technological development coupled with the offer of new versions within the sector, generate a permanent Replacement of these electrical and electronic equipment that are consumed domestically, similarly, new features and models of devices; greater accessibility by decreasing costs and constant supply of “novelty”, make these products becoming obsolete faster.
Obtain a new electronic equipment is cheaper, which makes leave or store a computer where it does not has reached the end of its useful life, to buy a new one, ignoring the huge environmental cost that generates both the production and disposal of this equipment.
electronic waste from computers generate a series of specific problems, but also this crap Electronics usually take the third world countries, because it is more profitable to store there, which makes them recipients of this pollution, causing serious damage to the health of its people and the environment.
To date we know of the existence of large technological landfills, where Western countries dump their e-waste, the largest landfill in the world such garbage China, specifically in the city of Guiyu, information self Chinese government has confirmed.
An estimated 150,000 people in the city to treat ship garbage mainly countries like USA, Canada, Japan and South Korea, as these generators of tons of junk technology selected Third World countries working to put all their junk.
Nowadays increasingly another huge talking point for dumping waste located in Ghana, Africa.
Some possible solutions include:
- Incorporate responsible consumption that includes the recycling of electronic equipment.
- Reduce the generation of electronic waste through responsible procurement and good maintenance ..
- Donate or sell electronic equipment that still work.
- Donate broken or old organizations that repair and reuse equipment for social purposes.
- Reuse components can not be repaired; there are companies that collect and recycle these devices at no cost to the owners of the old equipment.
- Promote the reduction of hazardous substances used in certain electronic products sold in each country.
- Extended producer responsibility in which then use by the producer consumer takes the product, this encourages them to improve the designs to make them easier to recycle and reuse.
- In some countries you think entire life cycle of a product. It is fine for people who do not behave responsibly after consuming. Even some products have a fee to resolve the final exposure of these materials.
- The companies themselves should have a system of recycling of their own products, would benefit the entire planet.
We all know that this problem is not as easy to fix, and that each day passes can become chaotic and very dangerous world since large companies whose main objective is to make profits regardless of the consequences, is why every one of us, as users of these teams we think that currently make our life easier, but in the future may be the opposite.
Conception In this way, concerned about environmental degradation, we make consideration this information, whereas the right to be informed is paramount, and thus among all take action to help us not contribute to environmental degradation.