Recycling Waste from Electronic Products
The problem that needs to be addressed is the growing amount of wastes from electronic devices such as mobile phones and laptops being dumped in third-world countries like India from first world countries such as the United States and the United Kingdom, causing hazards to the health of the people and to the environment (Yáñez et al., p. 904). The problem of increasing electronic wastes in third world countries is significant because of the toxic chemicals in these waste materials which can greatly endanger the people living in these dumping grounds (Peretz et al., p. 559). As electronic wastes fill the bodies of land and water of these countries, a portion of the environmental resources become hardly usable and easily unsafe for human consumption. It is important, therefore, to address the waste issue and the threats it possess to both human beings and the environment. One proposal to meet the task is for companies to recycle these electronic wastes so that they do not end up in land fills in third-world countries. If the proposal is not initiated, the electronic waste problem will persist and will take its toll on the lives of innocent people and on the environment.
Despite the extent of its damage to the people and the environment, the problem of electronic wastes is nevertheless a soluble one. Efforts on the part of electronic companies to recycle the waste from their electronic products can be done in order to lessen and, eventually, to eliminate electronic wastes from being dumped in any part of the world. Governments from countries where these companies operate can institute legal measures that require corporations to establish measures in recycling the waste from their electronic products. These governments can also collaborate in order to create laws that are streamlined and laws that are enforce the policy of allowing companies to release electronic products if and only if such products are mostly made from recycled material derived from their waste products.
Apparently, the proposal to recycle electronic wastes requires funding. The financial resources needed in order for the proposal to be enacted will largely be shouldered by the corporations as part of their environmental and legal responsibility towards the public, direct consumers of their products or otherwise. Expenses that are beyond the legal capacities of these companies can be shouldered in part by the governments of the participating countries with the assistance from concerned nongovernment organizations. Enacting the proposal can significantly decrease the presence of electronic waste in dumping sites in third-world countries. It can also reform the trend in the production of electronic products from unrecyclable materials to recyclable ones which, in the long run, can also reduce the production costs for the companies (King and Lenox, p. 292).
The alternative proposal of proper waste management is also feasible also it has its drawbacks which can only contribute to the waste problem it is supposed to address. Waste management essentially meets the need of handling electronic wastes properly without reducing their quantities. It does not also address the need to protect the interests of those who live in areas where electronic wastes from first-world countries are continuously being dumped. Insofar as the recycling proposal is concerned, there are no apparent negative consequences other than the risk of receiving protests from the concerned corporations. While it may be the case that these corporations are inclined to protect their interests in lieu of the proposal, it is safe to say that environmental and health concerns far outweigh the pure business interest of profit-seeking measures.
King, Andrew, and Michael Lenox. “Exploring the Locus of Profitable Pollution Reduction.” Management Science 48.2 (2002): 289-99.
Peretz, Jean H., Robert A. Bohm, and Philip D. Jasienczyk. “Environmental Policy and the Reduction of Hazardous Waste.” Journal of Policy Analysis and Management 16.4 (1997): 556-74.
Yáñez, Leticia, et al. “Overview of Human Health and Chemical Mixtures: Problems Facing Developing Countries.” Environmental Health Perspectives 110.6 (2002): 901-09.