What is e-waste?
E-waste, also known as electrical waste is comprised of discarded computers, printers, fax machines, television sets, microwave ovens, washer and dryers, cell phones, iPods and other day to day electronics that are often found within the home and office.
Emerging Trends in E-waste
Electrical and electronic waste is one of the fastest growing sectors in the world and its impacts on humans and the environment is quickly being understood. Expansion of the global market for electrical and electronic products continues to accelerate as technology becomes more readily available and less costly, whilst the life-span of the products diminishes, thus creating a crisis on e-waste management. In the First World e-waste is seen simply as waste, in the Third World developing countries, such as India and China, e-waste is a business, to gain economic viability.
Global trends in e-waste
The main exporters of e-waste are the United States of America and the European Union. The e-waste is exported from these countries to Third World countries such as India, China and increasingly African countries, and dumped. The dumps turn into an economy, as civilians ranging from the age of eight to eighty sift through the material taking away its precious metals, shredding the plastics, and eventually burning away the waste material.
E-waste takes an extensive sorting process, much like that of plastics, and is therefore incredibly labour intensive. Therefore e-waste is not profitable for countries like the United States and the European Union as the cost to pay workers is high, so they offshore their pollution to cheaper labour.
What is E-waste ?