Ultimately, though, this dependence comes with a heavy cost. Every year, the US alone produces some 2.5 million tons of used electronics, all made from valuable resources such as precious metals and rare earth materials, as well as plastic and glass.
As a global leader in the design, development and consumption of new and improved electronic technologies, shouldn’t we be doing more to curb e-waste and advance a more sustainable approach to the design and manufacture of electronic products?
Fortunately, the US recently took a significant step in that direction.
Late last month, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), along with Sprint, Dell and Sony Electronics announced the “National Strategy for Electronics Stewardship,” an exciting new private-public partnership aimed at curbing e-waste, encouraging sustainable electronics lifecycle management and promoting the domestic electronics market.
This new strategy includes the first voluntary commitments made by Dell, Sprint and Sony, and also commits the federal government to take specific actions that will encourage the more environmentally friendly design of electronic products, promote recycling of used or discarded electronics and advance a domestic market for electronics recycling that will protect public health and create jobs.
As outlined in the strategy report, the federal government will take the following steps: (more…)