New year, new phone, new tablet, hearing aids new… The list goes on and know her well because we find ourselves trapped in a spiral of consumption that pays a very high toll beyond of our economy: the environment. Do you know what amount of electronic waste we generate each year? The organization the Global e-Waste Monitor has been quantified e-waste discarded in 2019 and attentive to the data, because they are over 53.6 million metric tons, or what is the same —if this data does not tell you much— the equivalent to the weight of 350 cruise ships, and all of this, every year.
This agency stands out, on the other hand, that the generation of waste electronics (e-waste) broke a record in 2019 and what is more worrying, with an increase of 21 percent over the registry quantified five years ago. The problem is not only decreasing, but that is becoming more and more large, and for those who think that recycling policies work, we have the bad news to confirm that only a 17.4 electronic waste are recycled and returned to the system.
“We are not concerned only that the amount of electronic waste continues to grow, but the fact that recycling technology can’t keep up with the pace of this growth”, he expressed concern in Fast Company Vanessa Forti, the author of this disturbing report. On the other hand, the recycling of electronic products is only carried out with rigour in the early economies of the world, while in continents such as Asia and Africa there is a recycling policy that is effective, but that are the most disadvantaged who cut into pieces the electronic waste in landfills for resale the components. This practice is obviously dangerous for the person who carries out and disastrous for the environment.
How do you address this problem? The experts agree that it is inevitable that they are sold increasingly electronic products and for this reason, measures should be taken in the field of recycling of waste. This report highlights, on the other hand, that not all products generate the same amount or harmfulness of waste: the more harmful to the environment are those that has “electronics to vary the temperature, such as refrigerators or air conditioning systems, which contain gases that trigger the dreaded ‘greenhouse effect’. In particular, it highlights the fact that in 2019 is released to the atmosphere by this concept close to 98 million tonnes of CO2.
This absence of a recycling cash has a derivative even more worrisome to our ecosystem, as underscored in the report of Forti: if you do not take advantage of recycled components, it is necessary to re-generate it by extracting and processing, which will generate still more wastes and gases that are released into the atmosphere.
Recommendations of the editor