As of 2022, it’s common knowledge that electronics and other technical devices need to be disposed of properly. Decades of research have shown the harmful effects of improper disposal. Here are some of the ways that electronic waste impact our environment.
It may be common knowledge, however, it may not be as common as you may think, that improper disposal of televisions and other devices is harmful to the environment. Electronics do not break down easily. Most electronics are made with many different types of plastics which we all know takes about 100 years before they begin to decompose. In addition to plastic, many electronics contain lead, mercury, arsenic, and polychlorinated biphenyls.
These chemicals end up in our soil. It then moves from the soil into our groundwater which we all consume. This poses a hazard not only to humans but to plants and animals as well. The lack of E-waste recycling poses several problems. Primary and secondary exposure to these toxic chemicals and metals are just as detrimental. Open-air burning and unregulated mining create toxic fumes in our air.
The lasting health effects for us of improper electronic disposal include kidney issues, blood toxins, and damage to the nervous system. It’s a vicious cycle of manufacturing and then improper disposal that creates pollution. Ultimately these pollutants end up right back into our bodies.
E-waste recycling can contribute to a healthier planet and its inhabitants. Since humans are dependent on technological advancements, the manufacturing of electronics will not be slowing down anytime soon. However, we can limit our dependence on mining for raw materials for our new electronics if we recycle the devices that are already made.
And doing this we will also contribute less to the harmful environmental effects of mining for raw materials. This is an overall reduction in energy consumption. There has been substantial evidence that shows atmospheric changes due to toxic gases released because of mining. The demand for our beloved electronics has also led to illegal mining.
You can get more gold and copper from one ton of circuit boards than from mining one ton of ore. These are policies that need to be enacted for us to cultivate a more sustainable future for our planet and ourselves.
We already have landfills overflowing with tons and tons of waste. These landfills environmentally impact all living things. And it’s not just the land that is poisoned, it is also the waters. We all depend on our land and waters to feed and hydrate us. We are only doing more harm to ourselves when we are not taking the repercussions of mining these materials into consideration.
Furthermore, we must think of how we as humans depend on the earth to sustain life. Our food comes from the ground, water from the ocean, and fish from the sea. At this point, we have done a lot of irreparable damage. What we can do now is focus on how to create safer and healthier resources.
Once policies are implemented this will create a cycle of renewable energy. Making even the slightest adjustment to electronic disposal will contribute to all aspects of the issue at hand. It goes to show that a small spark can create a mighty flame. Many municipalities have procedures in place for recycling your electronics. Please consider this when you are looking to dispose of your used or unwanted devices.