As We are about to witness 9th International Conference on Global warming, one of the major issue that has emerged during last decade is E waste arising out of Digital Revolution.
In 2016 the world generated e-waste ; everything from end-of-life mobile phones, refrigerators and television sets to solar panels, and computers ;equal in weight to almost nine Great Pyramids of Giza, 4,500 Eiffel Towers, or 1.23 million fully loaded 18-wheel 40-ton trucks, enough to form a line 28,160 km.
India has generated more than 1.8 million tonnes E-waste during a year.India is the fifth largest e-waste producing country in the world
According t0 an UN Report only 20% of the E-Waste are recycled .
Many countries do not have the necessary mechanisms, facilities and intent to treat the hazardous waste or lack of sufficient capacity to treat all of it.
There are several Environmental laws and Regulations regarding E-Waste Management , but either they are weak or not strongly implemented. E-Waste (Management) Rules, 2016 were amended to overcome failures 2011 Rules and came into effect from 1st October, 2016. A manufacturer, dealer, and Producer Responsibility Organization (PRO) were also held responsible under these Rules.
We have noticed many abuse of Global Environmental Laws regarding E-Waste, Companies having E-Waste if they find strict environmental laws in county they are operating they open their subsidiary in the country which has weak environmental laws or poorly regulated environmental laws for operating and dumping their E-Waste without caring for public health.
Effect of E-waste on Public Health
E-Waste effects public health at large including change in thyroid function, changes in cellular expression and function, adverse neonatal outcomes, changes in temperament and behavior, and decreased lung function. For more visit here . People living in e-waste recycling towns or working in e-waste recycling had evidence of greater DNA damage than did those living in control towns.
Findings from most studies showed increases in spontaneous abortions, stillbirths, and premature births, and reduced birth weights and birth lengths associated with exposure to e-waste. source https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/m/pubmed/25104600/
Best E-Waste Management Practices and Measures Required
We need to invest in research & innovation , technologies and responsible measures for usage and disposal of electronic Gadgets.
Proper E-Waste management initiative includes Plug-in to eCycling , Toxic Substances to be handled in an environmentally responsible manner, High duties on old computers imports for spare parts, processing facilities for sorting & dismantling, helpline and creation of awareness among the people for use and safe disposal of E-waste and establishment of High-tech Collection Centers.
Now it is evident that various initiatives have been started world-wide to deal with the problem of e-waste. More strict and uniform Environmental law Regulations are required across the globe. Research and innovation work must be promoted among the new Startups and responsibility should be taken by big firms to explore newer ways to deal with e-waste in a more eco-friendly way; and these initiatives should be continuous and sustainable.