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Impact

The State Of Improper E-Waste Disposal

Learn why the consistently increasing amount of electronic waste is an area of concern that we need to take seriously.

What is Electronic  Waste?

 

The rise of technology is a double-edged sword.

 

On the upside, it made life easier and more productive for us. But on the downside, it gave us more distractions, a less active lifestyle, and a greater attachment to material things. 

 

Most of the disadvantages that technology brings are also issues of concern to us and our daily lives. However, Mother Nature is also suffering from this global change. One constantly overlooked danger is the increasing amount of electronic waste. This type of garbage includes your batteries, motherboards, phones, and other discarded electronics, which mostly end up in landfills.  

 

As we all know, electronic waste is made up of non-biodegradable materials such as plastics. They also contain metals such as mercury and lead, which are toxic and harmful to the soil and the oceans. Unfortunately, improper electronic waste disposal is a pressing issue, and environmentalists have been fighting this battle for years.  

 

Where are we now?

 

The current state of electronic waste is directly linked to how much we utilize our electronics. As of 2017, the global consumer electronics market is placed at $1.1 trillion, and it is projected to rise to $1.7 trillion come 2024 steadily. This consistent upward trajectory is mainly caused by the ever-changing shift in styles and innovation of smartphones, laptops, toys, TV screens, and even electric vehicles. Boosted by advertising, this whets the people’s appetite to keep up with the latest trends. As a result, they ditch their electronic consumer goods every year, or even less. 

 

In 2018 alone, the top three countries – China, The United States, and India –  that produce the most electronic waste have generated more than 20 million tons of it. However, the COVID-19 pandemic created a significant impact on our usage of electronic devices because of the lockdowns. Moreover, the work-from-home setup required people to have a functional phone, laptop, or PC, thus creating a huge demand for these electronic goods. If uncontrolled, our electronic waste production is projected to reach up to 100 million tons in the year 2050.

 

How about the state of recyclability? Based on the 2019 World Economic Forum Report, only 20% of the 44 million tons of electronic waste is recycled sustainably. The rest are undocumented, which most probably end up in landfills. Once they end up in the ground, this is where the toxic and hazardous metals pose a danger to soil and water, not to mention the wildlife that suffers from this impact.

 

What Can We Do?

 

Harvard gives us some tips to personally reduce our electronic waste. Some of these include:

 

  • Taking care of our gadgets to extend their lifespan
  • Evaluating whether you need a new gadget
  • Donating usable gadgets that you want to replace to social programs, and
  • Patronizing electronics with an Energy Star label or those with an Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool (EPEAT) certification.

 

Batteries are also one of the most prominent components of electronic waste. The lithium-ion battery market alone is expected to reach $100 billion by 2025, as these batteries are chiefly used in smartphone units. However, their recycling rate is currently at only 42%, and the rest become electronic waste.

 

Bidi Vapor, a vaping company, understands the pressing need to recycle electronic waste. Hence, it designed its premium vape product, the BIDI® Stick, to have a recyclable and UL-certified battery. 

 

Each of us has to do our part in helping reduce electronic waste. We want to offer adult consumers aged 21 years and over, a way to recycle their used BIDI® Sticks. By offering an option for them to easily recycle, we can help alleviate the stresses on the environment from improper e-waste disposal.  

 

For more information on the BIDI® Cares program, visit www.bidicares.com/about-us.

 

Categories
Impact

The Impact of COVID-19 on the Plastic Waste Problem

The COVID-19 pandemic spurred the wearing of masks, observing health protocols, and avoiding crowds for everyone’s safety. However, the plastic waste problem also rose. Does Mother Nature have to pay for all our efforts in self-preservation? 

The new coronavirus, COVID-19, has unleashed panic and fear among people worldwide as deaths continue to rise and practically brought the world to a standstill.

2020 is a grim year for humanity as the global pandemic claimed millions of lives, taunting the health care system, and stalled the economies worldwide. COVID-19 has set off a “new normal” way of life where health authorities mandate the wearing of face masks, observing social distancing, and regular washing of the hands for everyone’s safety. People are advised to avoid crowds and stay home as much as possible.

As of January 2021, there are more than 102 million cases and more than two million deaths worldwide.

The new health protocols created a demand for face masks, face shields, and other protective equipment or tools to ward off the virus. Because restaurants were closed or disallowed dining in, people either cooked more at home or resorted to taking to-go food or takeout orders. These also triggered the demand for more food plastic packaging. Imagine the plastic and other wastes generated from all these. 

The COVID-19 Plastic Problem

According to Science Magazine, single-use face mask production reached 116 million pieces per day in China in February, increasing the demand twelvefold. The World Health Organization (WHO) also recommended a 40% increase in disposable PPE production. It is also projected that 129 billion face masks and 65 billion gloves worth of waste per month will be produced because of the pandemic. In the United States, it is predicted that an entire year’s volume of medical waste will be reached within just two months if estimated similarly to China’s influx of plastic waste.  

Meanwhile, the production of plastic packaging also shot up. Because of the lockdowns, people are forced to stay at home and order take-out meals and home-delivered groceries. Singapore alone produced an additional 1400 tons of plastic in just a matter of 8 weeks. Overall, the pandemic caused a massive increase in the global plastic packaging market, from the US $ 909.2 billion in 2019 to a forecast  US $1012.6 billion in 2021. 

As the lockdowns eventually eased, people are now allowed to socialize to some degree. However,  the significant change brought by social distancing exacerbated the littering problem. Open spaces such as parks and beaches became the new “restaurants,” but without staff cleaning up after the guests. Consequently, this again caused an increase in littered plastic cups, bottles, and, additionally, discarded single-use face masks.  Oceans Asia reported an alarming rise in face masks among shores and suburbs, which pose a garbage problem and a health problem as well. 

Taking Responsibility

With the dramatic increase in the plastic garbage volume in less than a year, one wonders whether the target is to make 2030 the year when the ocean plastic crisis ends. The target year would have imagined the renaissance of nature and wildlife. However, as the pandemic continues, tagging along with the global waste problem, environment advocates may find it hard to achieve a plastics-free world in 2030. Understandably, many would put their survival first before being mindful of the environment. 

However, we also have to adopt a more long-term mindset, especially in the new normal. We are all certainly wishing for this pandemic to end, but we will have to face the consequences of irresponsible waste disposal too. After all, the death of our wildlife and ecosystem will also mean an end to human survival. 

Even the simple act of not littering and properly disposing of waste can go a long way. As social creatures, modeling behaviors can influence the actions of others. According to Professor Wesley Schultz, people are more prone to litter in places that are already dirty.  Thus, cleaning the parks and playgrounds of our mess can do wonders.  

Choosing Products Responsibly

To contribute less to the mask-littering problem, opt for a reusable version; use cloth instead of disposable masks. Aside from being washable and reusable, many manufacturers with sustainable practices are also producing them to meet the demand.

Bringing your containers when buying food can also help lower the use of single-use plastics. Besides, it is also an added safety that you sterilize them yourself.

Change Yourself, Change the World

As Mahatma Gandhi said, “You must be the change you want to see in the world.” Just like we cannot end the virus without following health protocols, we cannot live in a healthy and abundant environment if we do not help address the waste management issues in the world.

Categories
Impact

Simple Tips You Need to Know for Eco-Friendly Vaping

As the world is becoming more environmentally aware, vaping is now considered a eco-friendly. Vaping means no more dealing with cigarette butts and supporting the tobacco industry.

Smoking cigarettes affects almost every organ of the body, induces many diseases, and in general, decreases smokers’ health. Aside from its reputation of causing numerous health problems, cigarette butts comprise 38% of litter collected in the US.  

Moreover, tobacco facilities release more than a million pounds of toxic chemicals to the environment, and tobacco cultivation is known to be a significant contributor to deforestation. On top of this, secondhand smoke contributes to air pollution, and cigarette butts also pollute waterways and oceans. The Ocean Conservancy states that cigarette butts compose the most trash collected in ocean cleanups.

As a responsible citizen and vaper, here are some tips you can do to help:

Turn Off Your Vape When You’re Not Using It

Merely turning the battery off when your device is not in use can save you from injury and harm. Aside from helping prolong the lifespan of your battery, it could be a hazard if the button is pushed accidentally, which can happen if your vape is in your pocket or bag. If unnoticed, the continuous heating of the atomizer might start a fire.

Opt for a Higher Battery Quality Vape Product

Most batteries in e-cigarettes contain heavy metals that need extensive treatment to remove all its residual metals. For instance, with Bidi Vapor, batteries have carefully thought of how we can improve the recyclability of e-cigarettes batteries. The battery used in every BIDI® Stick contains a high-quality battery that has been certified by FCC, CE, and ROHS. It is an investment in making BIDI® Stick a high quality and eco-conscious product.

Buy Vapes with a Medical-Rate Pad

Most vape pens have the usual synthetic cotton. BIDI® has a medical-rate pad that is highly recyclable – a win for the environment!

You Can Recycle in Vaping

For non-disposable vapes, some advanced tanks and mods are reusable—a mod with Variable Wattage mode can be compatible with a range of tanks, so you don’t have to buy a new one. Some vapers may also have a range of old vape hardware that they can share with users who need it.

Proper disposal of batteries is essential since they are toxic and must not be with other trash. Moreover, pressure and heat may also cause lithium-ion batteries to produce sparks, which causes them to be one of the main culprits of recycling truck fires.

When you purchase disposable vapes, make sure to recycle it by supporting vape companies that allow you to return your vape sticks and be replaced with new ones. 

Choose a product that cares for you and the environment. Choose BIDI® Stick. 

Bidi Vapor reminds its consumers of eco-friendly and sustainable vaping practices by launching a recycling program. The “Save a BIDI®. Save Our Environment” by BIDI® Cares aims to motivate its consumers to recycle their used BIDI® Sticks.