WE ARE POISONING THE EARTH AND WE STILL THINK WE’RE SO SMART WHEN WE UPGRADE!
E-waste tsunami about to hit PH shore
Have you ever wondered what happens to obsolete computers, outmoded mobile phones, old digital cameras, and archaic TV sets with big cathode ray tubes (CRTs)?
They end up as toxic e-waste materials. Unfortunately, the Philippines is still at a loss on how to deal with them.
From 2009 to 2010, sales of electronic products in the Philippines amounted to $ 3.8 billion and continue to grow at a rate of 9 percent. It is estimated to reach $5.5 billion by 2014.
In 2009, 42 percent of total consumer electronics spending was attributed to computers. At the same period, one million smartphones were sold.
Software giant Microsoft has caused the upgrading of millions of computers with the introduction of a new operating system every two years. In fact, Windows 8 is expected to be launched early next year.
Computer makers like Samsung, Acer, Dell, and Lenovo and a dozen more churn up yearly new models of laptops, notebooks, and recently, “tablets” that cater to fickle-minded consumers with insatiable appetite for hi-tech gizmos.
The growing monster
Unlike regular garbage made up of paper and plastic, e-waste is a monster that can pose serious danger to both individual health and the environment.
E-waste is basically defined as electronic products that have reached its end-of-life usage and has become unusable or obsolete and are therefore discarded in whole or in several parts or components.
Examples of e-waste include TV sets with CRTs, computers, computer monitors, computer printers, fax machines, scanners, copying machines, cellular phones, washing machines, refrigerators, air conditioning units, video cassette recorders (VCRs), DVD players, stereo components, digital cameras and video cameras, PDAs, iPods, ink cartridges. and a lot more home and office appliances.
“In Asia and the Pacific, transition from analog TV broadcasts to digital transmissions in Japan could mean more imported used TVs entering the Philippines,” discloses Manny Calonzo of Eco Waste Coalition, a local toxic waste watchdog.
“China-made cheap and throw-away electronics are already flooding Divisoria, adding to the heaps of e-waste that the country has to deal with,” he says.
The big problem that the Philippines now faces is the unstoppable pile-up of e-wastes like television sets, computer monitors, refrigerators and other electronic appliances in dumpsites all over the country. Here, the danger of toxic chemicals and fumes lurk pose danger not just to individuals but also for the environment.
Click photo for more!