E-waste Recycling And The Impact On Global Electronic Waste – A passionate leader in innovation and sustainable business practices. He has over 35 years of experience in the chemical and plastics industry, with his 10 years of leadership in both sustainability and corporate risk management.
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E-waste Recycling And The Impact On Global Electronic Waste
Waste from electronic devices such as cell phones, computers, and other digital devices is the world’s fastest growing waste stream, producing 2 million tons per year, or about 9,000 tons of the Statue of Liberty. is increasing at an alarming rate. In 2019 alone, approximately 53 million tonnes of e-waste (excluding solar panels) was generated, which is predicted to exceed 74 million tonnes by 2030. Additionally, 80-85% of e-waste is not formally collected or properly managed.
How Disposable Tech Is Feeding An E Waste Crisis
E-waste is often sent to developing countries, seeping into the informal sector and exacerbating human rights problems worldwide. These wastes are especially dangerous because they contain several toxic additives and hazardous substances, including mercury, brominated flame retardants (BFRs), chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), and hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs). . If not properly managed, these substances can expose residents to high levels of pollutants (such as lead and cadmium), air pollutants, and contaminated groundwater, leading to cancer, neurological damage, and impaired IQ. This can pose serious risks to human health, such as deterioration.
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Electronic devices store a variety of valuable materials such as iron, copper, and gold, with a total value of USD 57 billion (Kuehr, et al. 2022). Only USD 10 billion is recovered in an environmentally responsible manner, and the rest accumulates in landfills or in the open environment at social risk (Forti 2020). Adopting circular business models offers companies a unique opportunity to create value, reduce their impact on the environment and human health, and generate profitability.
Dubai E Waste Collection And Management System
Current economic systems assume a constant supply of natural resources, resulting in a linear “extraction, production, use, disposal” model (Centre 2015). On the other hand, circular business models focus on redesigning product-service systems to improve business capabilities and market competitiveness. Moving to a circular economy model not only helps companies access untapped financial and business opportunities, but also reduces their overall environmental impact. For example, companies can recover 100 times more gold from one ton of mobile phones than from mining one ton of gold ore using traditional methods (Ryder and Houlin 2019). To realize the full benefits of the circular economy model and address the critical challenges associated with e-waste, companies can leverage his three alternative business models.
The sharing economy model generates income by providing a service rather than selling a product. This model modifies traditional producer-consumer relationships and reevaluates traditional value chains. For example, businesses can rent electronic devices to consumers. When a device reaches its maximum lifespan, manufacturers recycle, maintain, and refurbish it. Furthermore, by investing in sustainable and modular design strategies, companies can improve the value of their products by simplifying material disassembly and recycling and leveraging precious metal recovery (Atasu, Dumas, Van Wassenh 2021).
To support the sourcing process of recyclable materials, digital tools (such as digital passports and blockchain) can help companies source materials from secondary markets and predict supply and production dynamics (CEP 2022 ). Tapping into the secondary market can be effective for companies that want to source scrap metal from other industries, such as aerospace or advanced manufacturing, to create, for example, a base for carbon fiber-reinforced polycarbonate that can be used to assemble new laptops. strategy (Murphy 2021). Using a recyclable modular design in a shared model can optimize product recovery efficiency and extend product life.
The Global Warming Impact Of Electronic Waste And Modern Recycling Challenges
Another effective circular business strategy is the PAAS model. In this scenario, the customer pays to use the electronic product but does not own it. For example, IT companies can use his PAAS model for their hardware products and offer monthly subscriptions to users. This encourages companies to refurbish and rebuild products upon return.
Through PAAS’s “pay for” model, producers are incentivized to manufacture products that incorporate Product Life Extension (PLE) design, modularity, and appropriate end-of-life treatments.
Without a cost-effective, globally operated reverse logistics system that ensures proper recovery and disassembly of products, PLE designs are likely to fail (CEP 2022). Because e-waste contains harmful components, recyclers leverage technology and artificial intelligence to properly separate and identify the material composition of products, deploying robotics to break down materials at the same time. , reducing health and safety risks. For example, IT asset disposal (ITAD) and electronics recycling companies may be able to adapt to the semiconductor shortage by using technology that better extracts chips from e-waste and increases the use of precious metals (CEP 2022).
Simple Ideas On How To Reduce E Waste
Finally, companies can default to traditional product ownership models, giving customers full control over the product lifecycle. Unlike the sharing economy and his PAAS model, manufacturers in this model lose the incentive to produce products that promote his PLE and DFR principles, which are the principles of a circular economy.
Product ownership models allow companies to identify stages in the product lifecycle that can be improved to expand the use of the product. Here, companies can not only highlight the recyclability and modularity of their products, but also create incentives for consumers to return products for refurbishment or resale. Mobile phone equipment companies can develop purchase, repair, and exchange programs to promote good recycling practices and expand secondary markets for recovered metals.
Circular business models for e-waste management offer companies a unique opportunity to create value in terms of increasing profitability and reducing environmental impact. Companies should consider the following when developing a comprehensive circular model for their operations:
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By leveraging strategic circular economy business models to address the e-waste tsunami, companies can leverage financial opportunities, strengthen relationships in the value chain, and create lasting organizational value. .
Her colleagues Shubhra Verma, Brian Matthews, Kristin Bianca and Elizabeth Tual in Ernst & Young LLP’s Climate Change and Sustainability Services practice contributed to this report.
Over the past five years, the amount of electronic waste has grown three times faster than the world’s population and 13% faster than the world’s GDP. The global amount of e-waste is increasing at an alarming rate, leading to worsening environmental and health problems, especially in economically developing countries. The soaring prices are estimated to cost at least $57 billion in losses for raw materials such as iron, copper and gold. This article examines the role companies can play in incorporating circularity into the design and recovery strategies of electronic products to realize environmental and economic benefits.
The World Wide Waste Web
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Earth Day: Investing In Our Planet By Embracing The Circular Economy
According to section 7(2) of the RSA, a person is a producer of a regulated product if:
A) supply of regulated products by sale (including barter or exchange) or rental purchase;
Regulated consumer product retailers must also participate. Certain exemptions are granted under the RSA. Read below for more information.
Electronic Waste In India
Producers are businesses that manufacture or import regulated products to supply local markets. All regulated e-waste must be taken to an approved e-waste recycler for proper processing.
Raw materials are then extracted from regulated e-waste and reintroduced into production, becoming an important source of valuable resources.
In doing so, producers can strengthen their role in the circular economy while reducing their environmental impact by reducing carbon emissions and incinerating less e-waste.
E Waste: The Gobal Cost Of Discarded Electronics
Ensuring proper recycling can also ensure that e-waste is not exported to countries with substandard recycling infrastructure. E-waste is processed by the informal sector, which has to work in haphazard conditions that pose health risks and can pollute the environment. The law therefore helps promote sustainable modes of production in a world where resources are becoming depleted.
The NEA exempts small producers and retailers who supply less than certain standards of regulated products.
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