– Henry David Thoreau
Keeping in line with this philosophy of environmental sustainability, Advit Foundation with support from Pluss Polymers, initiated a campaign towards e-waste awareness among the Gurgaon community. The campaign aims to spread awareness on the impact of electronic waste on our health and environment while emphasizing the need for their safe disposal.
The use of electronic products has grown substantially over the past two decades. Rapid changes in technology, falling prices and planned obsolescence of electronic products are resulting in a fast-growing surplus of electronic waste around the globe. Solid waste management, which is already a mammoth task in India, is becoming even more complicated by the invasion of e-waste.
Electronic products – which include home appliances such as washing machines, refrigerators, ACs, microwave ovens and gadgets such as computers, laptops, telephones, mobile phones among other things – contain harmful substances such as lead, cadmium, beryllium or brominated flame retardants. When these substances spill, leak, or leach into the ground or water, the ecosystem is heavily affected. Through such common environmental occurrences as erosion and heavy rain, the pollutant chemicals end up in our oceans, streams, and lakes, and eventually in our drinking water, thereby affecting human health too. Therefore, electronic waste should be properly recycled, refurbished or reused.
“Electronics contain various toxic substances such as mercury, lead, and cadmium that are harmful to both humans and the environment. Therefore proper collection and disposal of e-waste is needed, instead of accumulating it in houses or just throwing away in trash or selling to the unorganized sector,” opines Samit Jain, Managing Director, Pluss Polymers.
As part of this campaign, awareness sessions and e-waste collection drives are being organized by employees of Pluss Polymers in various residential complexes and schools in Gurgaon. All the collected e-waste will then be sent to an authorized e-waste recycler for segregation, recycling of recyclable components and safe disposal of the remaining scrap. The program is being conducted with knowledge support from Advit Foundation. Advit and Pluss have together been working closely on various environment initiatives both within the organization as well as in the neighbourhood.
“As part of our environment initiatives, we have been working towards water, energy and resource conservation for long. When Pluss Polymers approached us, we were happy to become a part of this program,” says Mathangi, Programme Manager at Advit Foundation. “With today’s quick technological changes and the resultant impact on our planet, it is imperative that we deal with the sensitive issue of e-waste management at all levels – starting with educating the community. If each individual acts responsibly by properly recycling e-waste and any other recyclable item, only then can we sustain our planet,” she adds.
The first leg of this campaign was conducted on 15th Feb at Belvedere Towers, DLF Phase III, Gurgaon. Nearly 100 kgs of e-waste was collected from the society and sent for recycling/ safe disposal to Earth Sense Recycle Pvt. Ltd., an authorized company providing e-waste management services.
“This campaign is a first-step towards the arduous task of streamlining e-waste management at community level and aims to set in motion the wheels of change,” says Ajith Kumar, an employee of Pluss Polymers who is volunteering for the campaign.