Europe Mismanages Disposal Of Discarded Electronics

A ticking timebomb is in the form of the correct way to dispose electronic waste, the globe is producing unit upon unit of the latest gadget which in turn pumps chemicals and materials into these devices. The turnaround from purchase to waste is even shorter than ever and protocols need to be implemented with the aim of recycling, which decreases the environmental impact on the plant as possible.

Unfortunately, A European Union Funded project in conjunction with Interpol, the United Nations University, United Nations Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute, the WEEE Forum, the Cross Border Research Association, Zanasi and Partners and Compliance and Risks has found rather poor statistics.

They have found in Europe, “just 35% (3.3 million tonnes of 9.5 million tonnes) of used (but still functioning) and waste electronics and electrical equipment discarded by companies and consumers in 2012 wound up in official collection and recycling systems”. What happened to 6.2 million tonnes? It’s not like companies made it disappear, (reads more information) OK it is like companies made it disappear as the rest of the waste was “either exported, recycled under non-compliant conditions or simply thrown in waste bins”.

Responsible manufacturing and consumers who buy these electronics need to bear in mind disposal when throwing away items. The raw materials are toxic, think chlorofluorocarbons in fridges or Benzene and n-hexane which are chemicals thought to cause cancer and nerve damage, not such a problem? These chemicals have been used in the production of Apple products up until 2014.

Of course, as this report illustrates, an unknown but damaging factor is the criminal gangs who thrive off the illegal waste supply chain in some countries. Disposal of electronic waste is essential considering the amount which is being manufactured with the ratio increasing year on year, hopefully, more can be achieved in this area to decrease humans carbon footprint on the earth.

Thank you economictimes for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of open-electronics

Apple Bans Two Chemicals Used in Overseas Factories

Apple have many overseas factories, that’s for sure, 22 to be exact! Some of the factories have been using very harsh chemicals during production of Apple products, the chemicals in question are benzene and n-hexane, extremely harsh chemicals that have links to leukemia and potential nerve damage! China Labor Watch and Green America are activist groups that look into this kind of thing to guarantee the staff are working in safe environments and spotted that these chemicals where being used and caused a scene.

18 of Apples factories were not using the chemical at any stage in production, however, 4 were and it’s in these 4 that the new ban has come into place. The factories were reportedly using the chemical solutions within safe limits but Apple has decided to ban them nonetheless. Apple was called out in the past when a factory used N-hexane, which evaporates faster than alcohol, reportedly led to 137 employees being hospitalized. I guess they don’t want a repeat of that episode which is why such swift action has been taken this time. 

This is doing everything we can think of to do to crack down on chemical exposures and to be responsive to concerns,” said Lisa Jackson, Apple VP of environmental initiatives, in a statement to the AP. “We think it’s really important that we show some leadership and really look toward the future by trying to use greener chemicals.”

It’s nice to see a huge company such as Apple actually seem to care about their staff and make a change for the better, for their sake at least. Good job Apple, you have our respect, for now.

Thanks to Tweaktown for supplying us with this information.

Image courtesy of Tweaktown.