I’m sure everyone knows what is the meaning of ‘waste’ but what about E-waste? E represent electrical or electronic. ‘E-waste comprises of old electronic and electrical appliances ranging from personal computers to various household appliances such as TV’s, refrigerators, cell phones, switches, wire, batteries and fluorescent lamps’(e-Waste management n.d.). Have you ever think of what happen to your old phones or computers after you throw it away? It usually being dumped in emerging economies countries such as Latin America, Africa, Eastern Europe, Asia and China.
According to E-waste Fact Sheet (2009), there are 37 million computers in Australia that were already in landfill and ready to be burned. When all the electronics and electrics are being burned, it will produce a lot of toxic and poison gas that will pollute the environment and will lead to humans’ health problems. For example, batteries contain substances such as mercury, cadmium and lithium. Mercury will cause a person in inhalation or skin absorption damage brain and nervous system. Cadmium will harm the kidney and bones while lithium will causes nose and throat irritation. Can you imagine how suffering that the people need working under this environment? From the video that Miss Rohayu showed us in the class regarding the e-waste in Africa, most of the people are suffering from headache due to the smoke that come out from the e-waste.
We need to do something to save the human’s life as well as our earth! Although we couldn’t stop e-waste, but we can encourage people to avoid buying something that will lead to e-waste. You should ask the manufacturer about reuse and recycling options when you decided to buy a new product. You should also avoid disposable products and only buy products that are durable, repairable and have good warranty. With that, you can use the product for longer time without keep buying a new one. It can help to decrease the number of e-waste as well. Besides that, you also can recycle the product instead of throw it away. Take batteries as an example. In a lot of supermarkets there are boxes for recycle old batteries. You can collect all your old batteries and put it in the box for recycle. For me, I think this is a very good idea for recycle batteries because it not only will reduce e-waste, it might help to train a person to have the habit of recycle.
Other than that, we also should teach the young generation about e-waste and the harm to our health. We can actually set few boxes in school to let the students to throw any electric or electronics product in the box. In that way, it can help them to learn about recycle and start practicing when they are young. In my opinion, the government from each country should think of the solution of e-waste dumped by their citizen. It is ridiculous to dump the e-waste in countries that are still developing. There are still human in those countries. Since those first world countries have a lot of intelligent people, why don’t they come out with some good solution on how to handle the e-waste?
E-waste fact sheet 2009, Clean Up Australia, accessed 6/6/2013, from http://www.cleanup.org.au/PDF/au/clean-up-australia—e-waste-factsheet-final.pdf
Maxwell, R & Miller, T 2012, ‘Introduction’ in Greening the Media Oxford University Press pp 1-20
e-Waste management n.d., Saahas, accessed 6/6/2013, from http://saahas.org/downloads/ewaste_program.pdf
Lundgren, K 2012, ‘The global impact of e-waste: addressing the challenge’, International Labour Organization, accessed 6/6/2013, from http://www.ilo.org/wcmsp5/groups/public/—ed_dialogue/—sector/documents/publication/wcms_196105.pdf