Dangers of E-Waste
Electronic waste, or “e-waste,” is consumer and business electronic equipment that is near or at the end of its useful life. E-waste contains toxic materials that are harmful to our health and the environment. The world produces as much as 50 million tons of electronic waste per year. The e-waste produced annually is worth over $62.5 billion.
The consequences of improper e-waste disposal pose serious threats to public health and can pollute ecosystems for generations to come. When electronics are improperly disposed and end up in landfills, toxic chemicals are released that impact air, soil, water and ultimately, human health.
Toxic metals from e-waste can leak through the earth and reach groundwater and eventually make their way into bodies of water. Acidification can kill marine life, disturb biodiversity, harm ecosystems, and make clean drinking water hard to find.
Contamination in the air occurs when e-waste is informally disposed of by dismantling, shredding, or melting the materials. Dust particles or toxins are released into the environment that can cause air pollution and damage respiratory health.
Improper disposal of e-waste in landfills or dumping sites can cause heavy metals and flame retardants to seep directly into the soil, causing contamination of crops, which can cause many illnesses if ingested by humans or wildlife.
Consumers are expecting companies to be engaged in the process of making an impact on social and environmental matters. A Nielsen study found that out of 1,000 Americans:
- 68% of millennials bought a product with a social or environmental benefit in the past 12 months
- 87% of consumers will have a more positive image of a company that supports social or environmental issues
- 88% of consumers will be more loyal to a company that supports social or environmental issues
- 92% of consumers will be more likely to trust a company that supports social or environmental issues
Good for Your Business, Good for the Earth
E-waste remains the fastest growing waste stream globally. Because of a number of societal factors, including the fact that new and improved technologies are regularly introduced, electronics become obsolete at a rate faster than ever before. As a result, there are approximately 100 billion pounds of e-waste generated each year.
The Green Consumer
Customers care about the environment. Utilizing an eco-friendly business model can improve reputation and brand image, resulting in green consumer loyalty and an all-around positive impact.
Setting the Industry Standard
Our R2 certification is just the beginning of our commitment to setting the industry standard for sustainability, stewardship, and preservation of the environment.
Your Social Responsibility
Customers recognize that where they choose to spend their money can be a vehicle to influence change. The market is more competitive than ever, and practicing sustainability among your brand will give you an edge.