As countries around the world commercialise 5G technology, they also face a growing pile of e-waste generated from the obsolescence of 5G-incompatible devices. Our tech-hungry consumer habits mean the world will inevitably have to deal with this massive problem and establish a means to recycle and repurpose electronic waste.
A paper published by the World Economic Forum states “e-waste is worth at least US$62.5 billion annually, and if it were a single nation, the GDP would be on par with that of Kenya.” The paper further elaborates on the socio-environmental cost, stating that “e-waste can be toxic, is not biodegradable and accumulates in the environment, in the soil, air, water and living things. It can also have an adverse impact on health. Children and women are particularly vulnerable to the health risks of e-waste exposure.” A stunning 123 countries now have GDP’s that are lower than the value of the global pile of electronic waste, making “e-waste the fastest growing waste stream in the world.”
An article in Time Magazine also noted that “consumers, paralyzed by the hassle or put off by the expense of properly recycling or repurposing obsolete hardware, simply throw their devices into the trash or stash them in a drawer, hoping they’ll just disappear.”
There are currently no easy methods of recycling or reusing e-waste, but Clean Earth Technologies is developing a variety of new solutions to address the issue of e-waste management. These solutions are expected to even be capable of removing and recovering a plethora of valuable materials in electronic waste, such as gold and copper.
Clean Earth Technologies endeavours to recycle and repurpose e-waste in a novel and benign manner such that little to no by-products are generated in the process. In doing so, we would be shaping a future that works for all—a circular economy that greatly lessens the financial and environmental costs of e-waste.