The article titled How U.S. Laws Do (and Don’t) Support E-Recycling and Reuse addresses many issues the United States has with e-waste regulations. E-waste is a high priority and demanding practice. Without it, our planet will be polluted. Electronics and hazardous materials would continue to pollute our environment.
Electronic devices have populated our businesses, homes, schools, and social lives. According to this article found at Forbes.com, in 2008 each household has an average of 24 electronic products. That number doesn’t seem to lessen either. As we become accustomed to these devices, we also rely on them heavily. Their convenience makes them hard to live without. And as we purchase and use more devices, we are more prone to purchase additional devices. As new products become available, electronic users have a tendency to purchase the newer devices.
This report also reveals that each year 2.4 million tons of e-waste hit landfills each year. In addition, this report is from 2008. Which means, these numbers have undoubtedly increased in the past 8 years. Therefore, we need stronger regulations at a state and federal level. With these regulations, they can control the amount of e-waste that is not taken care of correctly.
When the state and federal governments are aware and apply more regulations, we will hopefully see less e-waste in the landfills. Enforcing these regulations is the problem. At a corporate level, holding companies responsible for their e-waste actions is a bit easier. They often have large amounts of electronics for disposal. This makes it more difficult for companies to throw electronics away discretely. However, at the individual level is where we see the e-waste in the landfills. Because of this, individual consumers should be held responsible for the devices they purchase. As well as the manufacturers, retailers, and e-recycling providers. If these three parties could help in providing e-waste solutions for the consumers, that are more convenient, then regulations will be the least of our problems.