One of the most prominent, but least understood, crises facing the world today involves the consumption and disposal of electronic devices. With rates of consumption of electronic devices at an all time high as a result of economic growth and technological innovation, the global community is asked to find more ways to deal with the disposal of electronic devices that are no longer in a condition to work as they were meant to.
Without innovative ways to dispose of such waste, the hazardous material within electronics will continue to make its way into water streams, food sources, and air thus jeopardizing the health of both humans and the environment. In addition, as the quantities of electronic waste on earth continue to increase the demand for places to put this waste also continue to increase despite the earth’s finite capacity to hold the waste.
This paper explores the topic of e-waste, beginning with its effects on human health, the environment, and the global economy. I will then analyze and summarize the current global policies and laws concerning e-waste removal and trade, and conclude with recommendations about the most efficient ways to decrease the global supply of e-waste.