Each year the want and need for electronic devices, ranging from small appliances to huge industrial machines, rises and rises. We are all officially living in the electronic age, which is resulting in a lot of electronic waste.
While a rise of production in electronic equipment can be a great boost for a countries economy, if the disposal of the products are not decided on, the buildup can accumulate quickly. Many companies look to make a quick turn around product with a short lifespan, resulting in no time to consider how to repair, or recycle the product.
In 2012, (“Regional E-Waste Monitor”, Schunuchi Honda) there was an estimated 56.56 million tons of electrical and electronic equipment put on the market. With Asia being the world’s largest manufacturer and market for electronics, things must be considered when they also create (2014) 16 million tons of E-waste in a years time. Japan is the leader in digital technology development and houses some of the worlds largest manufacturers. They have worked to execute strong frameworks for E-waste management and support country wide E-waste activities.
To solve any situation first you must assess the problems. Some of the major E-waste concerns are a lack of information and awareness, inadequate reporting on E-waste data, unclear definitions of E-waste country to country, and lack of support to make legislation. While small personal steps can be taken at home like reusing old products, refurbishing, and recycling, countries must assess the increasing E-waste volumes. There is an increasing lack of recycling facilities per region volume, lack of recycling knowledge, and minimal global effort to help the environment.
There will always be new bigger and better gadgets, but next time you dispose of an old electronic, consider the best method for its future and the future of the environment.