eWaste and Big Businesses

Linda and patson.

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To begin with most of us, when we think of environmental protection we think of saving trees, cleaning up oceans and the very air we breathe. But what about basic human rights when it comes to the environment?
I'm not referring to the right to vote or right to free speech, but rather the right to steer clear of environmental harm regardless of race, age, economic status or geographical location. And while "environmental harm" is rarely a description attached to a television set or computer monitor, it is fast becoming a known fact that violations run rampant in the world of electronic waste recycling which of cause has become in some part of the world Big business. For example the Apple company is the 14th worst company in the world for disposal of toxic chemicals. The toxic chemicals come from the disposal of mobile phones, personal computers and other technology products. Other than toxic chemicals there are also large amount of heavy metal.
There is now an organisation called “Guide to greener electronics” for companies which has large amount of eWaste. They have to send their electronic product to recycling rather than sending it to landfills. But the company that is in last place for committing to this organisation is Apple. Since the organisation has been opened apple didn’t make any progress or change their waste distribution in anyways.
Currently, up to 80% of the electronic waste meant for recycling is quietly exported to countries where products such as computers, radios, and television sets are dismantled in a crude fashion that causes severe environmental and public health risks. This means big business not only for the United States but recipient countries such as India, Pakistan and, especially, China--where environmental restrictions are lax and the economies poor. Despite concerted efforts to curtail this egregious activity, the electronic waste trade runs rampant affecting child and adult laborers as they dismantle computer, television sets, and radios, likely unaware of the hazardous toxins they are working with.
As for the 10% that are recycled, some discarded equipment is handled by firms that operate under strict environmental controls and high worker safety protections. Many firms, however, do not operate under strict controls, removing the valuable metals from the equipment and sending the remaining scrap to landfills or incinerators. Without adequate protections, workers dismantling discarded electronic equipment are exposed to many chemical compounds with known and suspected negative health effects. Considerably more equipment !as mentioned above, up to 80% of collected e-waste)is shipped overseas for dismantling under horrific conditions, poisoning the people, land, air, and water in China, India, other Asian nations, and possibly Mexico as well.
Patson Lim

The European Union is now setting up an organisation business called Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE). This organisation will help recycle the electronic equipment from big businesses. The business in the UK that disposes the most technology waste is the department of Trade and Industry (DTI) they dispose 2 million tons of electronic waste every year. By the organisation advertising about the recycling of eWaste hopefully it will set a trend so that more people and businesses will turn in their old product. The other problem that the organisation is worries about is the cost of repairing the electronic equipment is really high therefore that will encourage people to dispose their product rather than repairing it or recycling it.
Linda Cable