E-WASTE EPIDEMICPOSTED: Feb 2, 2023
E-waste, or electronic waste, is a ticking time bomb that threatens to destroy our planet and endanger human lives. The United Nations estimates that we generate over 50 million metric tons of e-waste each year, and it's only getting worse. The truth is, our careless disposal of electronic devices is causing irreversible damage to our environment, and we must take action now before it's too late.
One of the most pressing issues with e-waste is the impact it has on landfills. Electronic devices contain toxic materials, including lead, mercury, and cadmium. These materials can leach into the soil and groundwater, contaminating the local environment and endangering the lives of the people living in the area. Landfills also generate methane, a potent greenhouse gas that contributes to climate change. Not only that, but e-waste is taking up valuable space in landfills that could be used for other types of waste. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), "the toxic chemicals in electronics, such as lead, cadmium, and mercury, can leach into groundwater and soil, posing a risk to human health and the environment."
Please find out sustainable ways to dispose of old tech. Check out Consumer Reports article to find out how.
But it's not just the environment that's at risk. The human cost of e-waste is staggering. Workers in developing countries, where much of the world's e-waste ends up, are often not properly equipped to handle the toxic materials found in electronic devices. This leads to serious health problems such as respiratory issues, neurological damage, and even death. The workers are not protected and are exposed to dangerous conditions, which can lead to long-term health problems. As stated by the United Nations in their Global E-Waste Monitor 2020 report: "e-waste workers, often informal sector workers, are exposed to hazardous chemicals and materials, and may suffer from respiratory problems, skin diseases, and other health issues."
Mining of elements
The mining of elements used in electronic devices is also a significant environmental concern. The extraction of minerals such as cobalt, gold, and lithium can cause widespread environmental destruction, including deforestation and water pollution. Moreover, child labor is often used in these mines, and the workers are not protected. The environmental cost of mining these elements is high, and the human cost is even higher. A good resource to learn more about the environmental and human cost of cobalt mining is the book "The Curse of the Cobalt" by Elise Dufour.
Other dangerous implications
Other dangerous implications of e-waste include the illegal export of e-waste and the burning of plastic and other materials to extract valuable metals, which releases toxic fumes and pollutants into the air. These illegal activities are harmful to the environment and the people living near these illegal e-waste dumps. Furthermore, according to a report by the United Nations University, the burning of plastic and other materials to extract metals can have detrimental effects on the air quality and the health of the people living in the area.
Apple’s war on e-waste: 100% green by 2030
Apple is leading the charge in the fight against climate change by committing to having 100% of its operations powered by renewable energy. With over 115 supplier sites already on board and all of its own buildings and data centers running on clean energy, Apple is setting a powerful example for other companies to follow.
But it's not just about switching to renewable energy. Apple is also taking bold steps to reduce its carbon footprint in other ways. From investing in renewable energy projects around the world to designing energy-efficient products, Apple is making sure that every aspect of its operations is as sustainable as possible.
And let's not forget about their comprehensive carbon footprint program. With a robust inventory of greenhouse gas emissions, specific targets to reduce emissions, and regular progress tracking, Apple is taking a data-driven approach to sustainability.
But it's not just about being environmentally friendly, Apple's commitment to sustainability also means that their products are built to last. With energy-efficient processors, low-power modes, and LED displays, Apple's products are not only good for the planet, they're also good for your wallet.
And when it's finally time to say goodbye to your old Apple device, the company's recycling program makes it easy to responsibly dispose of it, reducing electronic waste and keeping our planet clean.
Loop’s refurbished tech: The alternative?
At Loop Mobile, we are committed to minimizing our environmental impact and reducing e-waste. As a company, we have implemented various measures to achieve this goal.
One of the ways we are reducing e-waste is by offering refurbished products. Our refurbishment program ensures that Apple trade-in devices are thoroughly inspected, cleaned, and tested to ensure they are in perfect working condition before being resold. This not only keeps old devices out of landfills, but it also provides customers with an affordable option for upgrading their technology.
We also make sure that our products come directly from Apple's trade-in program and we certify them as refurbished once the devices pass all the checkpoints we put them through. This ensures that our customers get high-quality products at a fraction of the cost of a new device.
In addition to our refurbishment program, we also provide detailed information on how to properly dispose of electronic devices through our website. This includes information on recycling programs and e-waste disposal options.
We also encourage our customers to read our article which explains in more detail our efforts to reduce e-waste, and how they can be part of it.
E-waste is a pressing issue that poses a significant threat to the environment and human health. That said, by purchasing refurbished technology, opting for repair and refurbishment over replacement, and participating in buyback programs and recycling, we can all play a part in e-waste management. Companies like Loop Mobile are taking steps to become more sustainable and environmentally friendly, giving us hope for a greener future. Let us all make conscious decisions to consume technology responsibly and sustainably.