In 2012, there were 1.6 billion cell phones manufactured. These 16 billions phones were packed with arsenic, lead, and polybrominated flame retardants. Today there are even more cell phones being manufactured, and they’re threatening the health of the earth. (more…)
When most people think about e-waste, they focus on the potential for contamination from heavy metals and other toxins found inside electronic devices. These toxins can leak into the soil and groundwater if the items aren’t properly disposed of. This, however, is just one of the problems attending the disposal of old electronics. There is also another problem: the problem of e-waste and sustainability.
Improve Your Bottom Line With Recommerce
Consider this: In the hour following Steve Jobs heralding the much anticipated iPad 2, an American electronics trade-in site purchased 2,000 used first generation iPads.
That’s because recommerce is hot right now. With ever decreasing cycle lengths between new versions of its in-demand products, the recommerce of Apple’s innovative consumer electronics is a prime example of how recycling personal goods generates a crucial new facet to global commerce. What’s more, recommerce systems make leaps and bounds towards protecting the environment from bulk waste in landfills and the toxics metals and other environmentally harmful components found inside mobile phones and laptops.
Americans owned over 3 billion electronic devices in the year 2009, according to the University of Illinois. Doesn’t seem like a problem, but it is. Why? Because often 2/3 of these devices were taken out of service while they were still perfectly usable, for the the commercial life of electronics is much shorter than their functional lifespan.
The result? A huge build-up of electronic waste.
The old adage “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure” sums up nicely how recommerce works. Why? Because the basic underlying principle of recommerce is that when consumer electronics such as smartphones, tablets, digital cameras, laptops, etc., lose their value in the eyes of the original owner due to the emergence of an upgrade or new trend, it is very likely someone out there is still willing to pay top dollar for them.
E-waste and sustainability are two sides of the same consumer coin when it comes to green business practices. The latter is directly dependent on how we deal with the rising influx of the former. Across the globe, a staggering 50 million tons of e-waste is produced each year, with the United States leading the pack throwing away some 3 million tons. Discarded electronics comprise 70% of the heavy metals (lead, mercury, cadmium, beryllium, and lithium) found in our domestic landfills. (more…)
This post marks the beginning of a week-long series on recommerce and sustainability. An innovative recommerce program can not only boost profits; it can also do much to prevent e-waste from entering the environment. With recommerce, smart business is also green business.
What E-waste & Sustainability Mean For The Environment
Nearly everyone has at least one or two consumer electronics. Smartphones, laptops and tablets can be found in almost every home in the United States. But what happens when there’s no longer a need for these otherwise useful electronics? Many people just toss them in the dumpster, transforming yesterday’s hot new item into today’s e-waste.
In today’s environmentally-conscious society, more and more companies are looking for ways to make their entire supply chain more eco-friendly. For consumer electronics manufacturers, this can mean using a higher percentage of recycled materials in production, as well as reducing emissions and waste in the forward supply chain.
This is only one part of the overall picture, though. More often than not, the reverse supply chain is where these companies can truly make an impact. Reverse logistics benefits the environment in many ways—read on to learn more.