E-fasting can minimize E-waste 

News: Electronic (e-waste) is emerging as a serious public health and environmental issue globally in this century.  

Why is e- waste generated and how different countries fare on the e-waste generation metric? 

When obsolete devices are replaced by new devices due to the advent of new technologies, this, in turn, results in electronic waste. 

United States and China are the first and second most electronic waste generating nations in the world. 

India is the fifth-largest electronic waste producer in the world’. Approximately 1.2 million tonnes of e-waste is generated annually in India, according to the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB).  

Majority of the e-waste ,about 70 percent comes from computer devices and then comes the telecom sector which has 12 percent share. 

Government, public sector companies and private sector companies, generate nearly 75% of electronic waste, with the contribution of individual households being only 16%. 

What are harmful effects of e-waste? 

E-waste can pose several health hazards which include damage of kidney, immune system, reproductive system and central nervous system. 

They can add heavy metals in landfills. 

E-waste largely undergoes unorganised processing and recycling, which is not safe from the environmental point of view. 

Children and adults who often live work and play in or near e-waste recycling centres are especially vulnerable to the effects of e-waste  

What is the way forward? 

Electronics waste contains hazardous but also simultaneously valuable and scarce materials which should be extracted. 

Segregation of e-waste from normal waste and estimation of the amount of e-waste generated are the first few steps which will help in proper processing and disposal of e-waste. 

There is need for enhanced awareness among every individual about the cause and effects of e-waste and request cooperation in the disposal of the same. Users may be encouraged to practice digital fasting or e-fasting. This involves reducing technology use — such as turning off notifications, turning phone off while working and setting limits for the amount of time spent on technology. 

Manufacturers should be encouraged to produce greener electronics. 

Source: This post is based on the article “E-fasting can minimize E-waste” published in Down to earth on 8th Feb 2022.      

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