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.