In Simple language, E-waste is when an electronic device which not in use is thrown in an inappropriate way. E-waste has always been a serious issue as it is not overlooked and the devices are inappropriately disposed. The United Nations has described it as the world’s fastest-growing waste stream. Every year, humanity generates tons of electronic waste, or know as tsunami of toxic garbage.
In India, Electronic waste is emerging as a serious public health and environmental issue . Our Country is the “fifth largest electronic waste producer in the world”; approximately 2 million tons of e-waste are generated annually and an undisclosed amount of e-waste is imported from other countries around the world.
E-waste is not hazardous if it is stocked in safe storage or recycled by scientific methods. The e-waste can, however, be considered hazardous if recycled by primitive methods. E-waste contains several substances such as heavy metals, plastics, glass etc., which can be potentially toxic and hazardous to the environment and human health, if not handled in an environmentally sound manner. E-waste recycling in the non-formal sector by primitive methods can damage the environment.
Now, a new analysis has found that the world’s e-waste junkyards will be getting a slight reprieve due to the COVID-19 pandemic. As with other seemingly positive environmental side effects of the coronavirus, this one nothing to celebrate.🎉🎊
In 2019, the global population created 53.6 million tons of e-waste but in 2020, despite an increase in sales of devices like laptops and tablets for home working, learning and demand for entertainment during isolation and quarantine, the sale of electronic equipment worldwide decreased compared with sales estimates based on previous years. Which will directly or indirectly affect in decrease of E-waste generation.
However, the pandemic has given a dip in E-waste, which may give nations a little bit of breathing space and time to strengthen their recycling infrastructure, but if not paid attention it will be again a major issue for the human health and increase in climate change.