“We are living on this planet as if we had another one to go to”
– Terry Sweringen
Ever since modern society developed an insatiable lust for new technologies like new smart phones, tablets, computers, and TVs, the amount of electronic waste has grown at a staggering rate. Today e-waste stands as one of the world’s fastest growing trash stream, as 70% of the hazardous waste produced worldwide is e-waste. Below are some facts which will give you a picture of the gravity of the mess we are in.
- Did you know that it takes 530 pounds of fossil fuel, 48 pounds of chemicals and 1.5 tons of water to manufacture only one computer?
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
- Did you know that the world produces close to 50 million tonnes of e-waste every year? In two years time (2021), that number will climb to 57 million tonnes.
- Did you know that barely 20% of global e-waste is recycled in some shape or form, the rest mostly find their way to landfills or are left with informal handlers. Meanwhile e-waste globally continues to grow at 4% per year. (Forbes 2019)
- There is currently no system for tracking legal or illegal shipments of electronic waste. And therefore there is no quantitative data on volumes or even all the true sources and destinations.
- Some electronic waste is shipped as “working equipment” only to end up as waste upon arrival in destination country
- In 2009 Frontline World Investigative Documentary team visited Ghana, and recovered some hard drives at Agbogbloshie (an ewaste dump site). In the hard drives, they gained access to documents containing Multimillion-dollar agreements between United States security institutions such as the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), the Transportation Security Administration, and Homeland Security. They were shipped to from the U.S. as e-waste to Ghana, and now posed a serious threat to US national security.
- In 2016, E-Terra revealed a considerable number of electronic waste is stored at homes, workplaces and dumpsites across Nigeria, with inhabitants unaware of the toxicity.
- Studies carried out by foreign and domestic organisations reveal that large parts of ground water in Nigeria have become polluted and unsafe for human consumption due to indiscriminate disposal of e-waste.
- A United Nation’s Environmental Programme (UNEP) and the World Health Organization (WHO) report 2016, links cancer, kidney and liver diseases in developing countries like Nigeria to environmental pollution mainly due to industrialization and the improper handling and disposal of electronic waste.
- Global tracking of cyber-attacks indicate that Nigeria is among countries with the highest cases of software piracy, identity & intellectual property theft and malware attacks. Unfortunately, a lot of emphases have been on internet security, while neglecting a vital loose end in I.T security i.e. how we store and dispose information technology devices that contain sensitive data.
- Two (2) major challenges emerge when electronic and electrical devices reach their end-of-life and become e-waste:
– Eco-Friendly E-Waste Handling and Disposal
– Protection of Confidential Data Information.
E-Terra Technologies is a globally recognized and certified expert in these two areas. That is why you must trust us with your electronic waste management today. But before you quit reading, there is one good news from Japan. At the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, athletes will receive gold, silver, and bronze medals forged from recycled ewaste. Catch ya later.