Electronics create huge amounts of waste around the world. It is hard to recycle, toxic, and extremely valuable — gold, aluminum, copper and rare earth metals can be found en masse.
Recycling, therefore, needs urgent promotion and government focus. We, the people, profit directly from reduced environmental depletion and from saved cost: Recycling is actually considerably more efficient than processing of raw materials. For example, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimates that one metric ton of circuit boards can contain 40 to 800 times the amount of gold and 30 to 40 times the amount of copper mined from one metric ton of ore.
Even more energy efficient would be prolonged life times of electronic products, that in the U.S. are typically replaced every 2 to 4 years. Several aspects are involved here:
Now here’s the problem: Without government regulation, none of this typically agrees with capitalism.
An updated tax concept, stronger product regulation, Basic Income; your choices when buying products, and the questions you ask companies who produce electronic products all have the potential to improve the situation for us, our planet, and those after us.
You can support such organizations as the Green Electronics Council, that is a vital player in the promotion of efficient electronics design, manufacture, use and recycling. Or you can talk to politicians, and ask them to find an answer to big companies undermining environmental protection and efficient product design.
We were running a Crowdfunding campaign for a product that increases flexibility and reusability in electronics design early 2017. If you care, stay up to date and register for our newsletter. Thanks!