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Global E-Waste Monitor Report

INTRODUCTION: Electronic waste or e-waste or e-scrap or waste electrical or electronic equipment (WEEE) describes broken electrical or electronic devices. In this essay we are going to see the highlights of global e-waste monitor report 2014 which is given by United Nations University (UNU) and also the ways of collecting e-waste.

E-WASTE MONITOR REPORT 2014:
1. PRODUCTS THAT PRODUCE E-WASTE:

  • Almost seven percent of e-waste in 2014 was made up of mobile phones, calculators, personal computers, etc.
  • Almost sixty percent was a mix of large and small equipments used in homes and business such as toasters, washing machine, mixer grinder , fan, refrigerator etc.

2. ELEMENTS CONTAINED IN E-WASTE:
E-waste generated in 2014 contains 16500 kilotons of iron, 1900 kilotons of copper, 300 metric tons of gold, silver, aluminum etc.

3. CONTINENTS AND COUNTRIES WHICH ARE INCLUDED IN THE REPORT IN PRODUCING E-WASTE:

  • United States and China have produced the most e-waste in 2014 at 32 percent .
  • The lowest amount of e-waste per inhabitant was generated in Africa.
  • Most of the world's e-waste was generated in Asia.
  • India is the fifth biggest producer of e-waste in the world behind United States, China, Japan and Germany.

PROCESS INVOLVED IN COLLECTING E-WASTE
OFFICIAL TAKE BACK SYSTEM
1. Collection of e-waste in developed countries:-
In developed countries e-waste is collected by individual waste dealers or companies and then traded through various channels. Possible destinations for e-waste include metal recycling, plastic recycling and export. Most of the collected e-waste in America is traded to Africa and other developing countries.
INFORMAL COLLECTION
2. Collection of e-waste in developing countries:-
There are enormous numbers of self employed people engaged in the collection and recycling of e-waste in developing countries .This is known as informal collection. After this informal collection the electronic products are recycled through backyard recycling. This may cause severe damage to the environment. This method includes open burning, acid leaching, melting of plastics, dumping of hazardous residuals etc.
RECYCLING OF E-WASTE:-
According to UNU , less than one sixth of last year's e-waste was diverted to proper recycling or reuse ,UNU also says that global e-waste has topped 41.8 million metric tons of electrical and electronic waste in 2014. Hence, the e-waste produced should be taken to proper recycling.
IMPACTS OF E-WASTE:
The informal method of e-waste recycling showed that most sediments exhibited acute toxicity due to elevated levels of heavy metals .We know that e-waste contains lead, mercury , cadmium etc.

  • Lead in the environment disrupts the functions of water and soil systems.
  • Mercury has toxic effect on human health .A small amount of it now exists in house hold light bulbs are introduced to land filling, it leads to the production of highly toxic methyl mercury
  • Cadmium is cancer causing agent.

DISEASES CAUSED BY E-WASTE:-
Toxins in e-waste include lead glass, batteries, mercury, aluminum, chromium and 4400 tons of ozone depleting substances (CFC). This may cause health problems including impaired mental development, cancer, damage to liver and kidney and brain problems.

REMEDY: The e-waste monitor provides a base line of national policy makers, producers and recycling industries to plan take back system of collecting e-waste in developed countries. It can also facilitate co-operation around controlling illegal trade. It supports technology development and assists research institutes, international organizations, as they develop appropriate counter measures. The impacts of e-waste can be minimized by producing less of it through application of concepts like green chemistry. Alternatives for every toxic material should be found. For example lead free soldering and halogen free Brominated Flame Retardants (BFR) are said to be toxic free substances.

CONCLUSION:-The remedy seen above should be implemented by young generation. Approximately 23% of deaths in the nation is linked to pollution and other environmental impacts. Hence, these deaths should be reduced and we should lead a healthy life.

C.Siva Gopal Reddy