The rise of electronic waste holds dire consequences for the health of the people and the environment. However, if the waste is recycled safely, you have struck gold, literally. China holds a prominent spot as the largest producer of mobile phones globally; consequently, generating over 15.4 million tonnes of electronic waste in 2020.
Without an established system of effective waste management, the toxic components of electronic waste seep into the surrounding environment and cause widespread harm. Mercury, brominated flame retardants, chlorofluorocarbons and hydrochlorofluorocarbons are known to cause severe impairments to the health of the people who live near these electronic waste scrap yards.
The first stage is to clearly define value chain actors through the Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) Framework. They have identified the need for producers of the electronic devices to be held accountable for the collection and treatment of its waste.
Our resources are finite and depleting. The clock is ticking on our wasteful ways, yet we seem to hold no regard or ponder for even a moment about the irrevocable consequences. Electronic waste is a toxic waste stream where a colossal amount of our scarce and valuable resources are lost.