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11:52 am | July 13, 2024
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e waste is a major threat to the environment
Environment Pollution Environmental Science Md. Safiquzzaman

E-waste is a major threat to the environment

E-waste is a major threat to the environment

Many people have no idea about e-waste. And those who have ideas, many of them, are taking the matter very simply. It is a severe threat to the environment and climate that many people may not know.

There is also information that people can die due to its effects. Before we know about the harmful aspects of e-waste, we need to know what kind of waste it is.

E-waste is electronic waste, for example, abandoned TVs, refrigerators, computers, laptops, cameras, air conditioners, microwaves, CFL bulbs, washing machines, cell phones, DVD players, electronic toys, etc.

When destroyed these everyday items after use, it becomes waste, known as e-waste. In general, they seem to be a traditional waste, but actually, they are not. E-waste contains severe radiation, which affects the environment in various ways.

Especially used electronic equipment contains various components, such as cadmium, lead oxide, lead, carbon, silicon, beryllium, fiberglass, mercury, and other metal elements. Even when destroyed electronic materials are, the components are not exhausted but remain in the waste.

As they are non-biodegradable, they cause considerable damage to the environment. As a result, there is a huge impact on soil, vegetation, crops, and biodiversity. Thus, this directly pollutes the environment and affects the climate.

We can see that when the old electronic items are placed in the junkyard, the waste is dried in the sun at the need of the shopkeeper. Or many leave the waste on the side of the road instead of in the store. And then the danger starts happening.

In the sun’s heat, the ‘integrated circuit,’ known to us as ‘IC,’ starts emitting severe radiation. Not only in the sun, but if it is buried under the ground or thrown into the water, it emits harmful radiation.

Also, one teaspoon of mercury can make the water of a 20-acre reservoir unusable for life. And due to being left everywhere, radiation in e-waste quickly enters the human body through recycling. It causes severe damage to human skin, kidneys, lungs, heart, nervous system, liver, maternal breast, and brain.

Due to the need for more e-waste recycling systems in underdeveloped and developing countries like Bangladesh, these are becoming toxic.

Although there are recycling systems in the developed world, many send e-waste to those countries. If their electronic products are damaged or expired, they leave them in the dustbin in front of the house without repairing them.

And the people of underdeveloped and developing countries pick them up and send them to their own country with a bit of repair. Occasionally, repairs are optional.

Those doing this do not even feel the damage they are doing to the country’s people. Not only is it being picked up, but in many cases, spare parts of computers or other electronic goods are being imported, which need to be updated.

But those products are being used in our country. Due to its effect, the environment is slowly being destroyed; the climate is also changing drastically, which we do not feel immediately. E-waste pollution is much like the invisible pollution emitted from mobile phone towers.

The damage is occurring, but it cannot determine how much environmental pollution is occurring. As a result, even though we suffer from severe diseases due to radiation from e-waste, it remains suppressed.

Even doctors are not able to warn us about this. Because even though they can identify the disease, the origin of the disease remains elusive.

As a result, although the patient is somewhat healthy, environmental destruction and climate change are not being prevented. Besides, someone else is getting sick, which many people think is normal.

We need to think about it quickly. To get rid of radiation pollution in e-waste, we need to build swiftly sustainable recycling factories that safely process e-waste into reusable parts.

There needs to be precise and up-to-date statistics on the extent to which e-waste is recycled, destroyed, and released into the environment.

However, in 2018, the Department of Environment (Bangladesh) produced a report. It was said that 0.4 million tons of electrical and non-electrical waste accumulated in Bangladesh that year.

Of this, only 3 percent is used in the recycling industry. The remaining 97% percent ends up in landfills. The report also said that the country’s e-waste is increasing by 20 percent annually. By 2035, this e-waste will reach 0.46 million tons annually in Bangladesh.

E-waste has become a concern not only in Bangladesh but worldwide. Global e-waste is growing by 21 percent every five years, according to a statistic by the Global E-Waste Statistics Partnership (GESP), a global alliance working on e-waste.

In 2019, there accumulated 5 thousand 360 crore kg of e-waste worldwide. Only 17.4 percent of the total e-waste generated that year was recycled. E-waste is accumulating more in low- and middle-income countries.

Note that there are only a handful of e-waste recycling factories in the country, which needs to be improved compared to our e-waste. But e-waste recycling factories can also be a promising industry.

If the industry expands, along with employment in the country, the environment will be free from pollution, preventing the imbalance of the environment, thus preventing climate change.

Therefore, we would like to draw the government’s attention to formulating policies on storing and processing e-waste.

The government may need to pay for the construction of e-waste dumping stations in each divisional city to ensure safe storage, especially for electric and electronic manufacturing companies.

In addition, we’re highlighting the Department of Environment’s proposal to manage e-waste and ban imports of old and used electronics under the ‘2018 Waste Management Plan’. It will prevent the climate crisis and save the environment, the country, and the public from invisible pollution.

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