Overconsumption is a plague | e-Waste destroys life | Reuse and Certified Recycling are critical solutions
This has got to stop.
That thing you just bought, what are your plans for it once you’re done with it? It’s this single question (that most of us never ask) that is a key to our future. The wrong answer—or no answer—and we are doomed as a species. Too extreme? Let me ask you: what is the future of this planet if we don’t change our current mode of consumption? Hint: it ain’t pretty.
The Scale of The Scourge
Consider this about the average American family:
- Currently owns at least 10 connected devices—projected to triple that by the end of 2021
- Throws away 32 batteries each year. Batteries leak toxic chemicals if not properly recycled.
- Only recycle a fraction of the devices they toss; 35% of 53,000,000 metric tons in 2019
- Will take more than one planet to satisfy yearly demands for resources
Overconsumption, in general, is ravaging our resources, but electronic waste (e-waste) specifically is an acute plague to our planet. From the damage done extracting resources for manufacturing, to the stain created by improper disposal—and the effects those factors have on humans—e-waste is, by definition, a pandemic of global proportions.
It may seem overdramatic to use the P-word these days, but the severity of this problem, and the fact that it’s not slowing down, means we should double-down on changing the narrative. If we don’t slow consumption and eliminate the improper disposal we’ve all been guilty of, Agbogbloshie won’t be the only dystopian landscape we see.
Okay, but what can I do about it?
In the same way that masks and vaccines have helped slow the spread or keep in check the other pandemic everyone’s on about, Repair, Reuse, and certified Recycling are the solutions for the e-waste plague. And, of course, asking the question we did at the start: “what is the plan for this once I’m through with it?” BEFORE you make any purchase, consider the three Rs above for just a few simple habits that will help move your community’s story from S.O.L. to Sustainable.
For more information on where or how you can ensure your end-of-life devices are properly reused or recycled, or how to host a collection event of your own, go to the 3R Technology scheduling page here.