Blog 7

Another week of school has flown by and with the extended essay first draft due date on the 19th of September it has been the only thing I have been thinking about for the last few days. My chosen topic revolves around electronic waste, e-waste for short, and how it has impacted developing countries. If you ever thought about where your old phone went when you threw it away to buy a new one, then you might be surprised that there is a chance it could end up in a landfill in China or India. Properly recycling phones, televisions, and other types of hardware isn’t an easy thing to do and can be costly for some businesses, so exporting e-waste to developing nations is the easy way out. Of course, exportation of e-waste is illegal, but there are still instances of people smuggling it in. The major problems lie with how the e-waste is managed in these developing nations. Without proper facilities, many residents are risking their lives to salvage the small bits of gold and silver found in circuit boards and RAM. They openly burn the hardware to expose the precious metals but in turn also release toxic chemicals found in the hardware into the air. Thankfully, officials in China have begun to take some action to prevent the matter from worsening, but much of the damage done to the environment is irreversible. Back at North America, big companies like Apple have also decided to implement recycling programs allowing people to return their old Apple products for safe dismantling. Hopefully, the government will enforce more stringent e-waste policies as well.