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Thursday, 08 November 2012 10:19

Green Tech Forum 2012: D-Waste on e-Waste

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Mr. Alexandros Mavropoulos, D-Waste's Expert, during his speech on Green Tech Forum 2012, which was held in Sao Paulo, Brazil, focused on the need of a global approach and solution for e-waste management.

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Mr. Mavropoulos mentioned that as there are global production and consumption patterns and waste streams, such as e-waste, that are transported illegally all over the world it is irrational to try to handle waste management as something local.

In addition, Mr. Mavropoulos mentioned that waste management is an underestimated issue that must be included in the political agendas of governments and international organizations, since problems seems to worsen. More specifically, the current annual MSW generation is estimated between 1.6 and 2.0 billion tons with the estimation for 2050 to be up to 4.2 billion tons, an estimation that will come true unless we change the way we manufacture products and the way we consume and generate waste.

As for e-waste, Mr. Mavropoulos mentioned that the current annual e-waste generation is estimated between 20 and 50 million tons, an amount that is expected to increase significantly during the next years, since electrical and electronic manufacturing sector is the fastest growing in the developed world. Despite their hazardousness, since most of e-waste contains hazardous substances, developing countries continue to import illegally e-waste because of its high metal content, including also cooper and gold. As a consequence, in order to recover these metals, a great amount of e-waste receives inappropriate treatment including manual dismantling and open burning, posing a significant threat both for the human health and the environment.

Taking the above into consideration, Mr. Mavropoulos called for actions as a way to ensure sound e-waste management all over the world. Such actions include: tackle of waste trafficking, measures to be taken by countries that import e-waste and by countries that export e-waste. In addition, strengthening and implementation of legislation, establishment of take back systems, as well as the better and environmental friendlier design of products were among the measures suggested for implementation.

Finally, Mr. Mavropoulos mentioned that the achievement of sound waste and e-waste management is an issue of shared responsibility. Authorities and international organizations must establish clearer and more accessible rules and regulations, the industry must adapt its manufacturing patterns to manufacture products that will be environmental friendlier, whereas us, the consumers must be more aware about such issues and push towards the aforementioned directions.

 

 

 

Read 24322 times Last modified on Friday, 16 November 2012 14:50

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