E-Waste Management and Sustainable Environment

E-waste is extremely dangerous for the environment, human health and living beings. It contains chemicals such as lead, mercury, copper, cadmium, beryllium, barium etc. that contaminates earth, air and water. In summer, they get even worse in the heat wave damaging the atmosphere. Lead is one of the most poisonous elements in e-waste which badly impacts blood, kidney, central and peripheral nervous systems. Bangladesh creates 7 percent of the total e- waste annually in the world. A proper e-waste management and recycling procedure is not in place in Bangladesh. This is done mostly in the informal sector by the small businesses. A report says about 15 per cent child workers die in the country and 83 per cent of them are in contact with toxic materials suffering from diseases. About 40 thousand children are engaged in e-waste processing works of whom 40 per cent is working in the ship breaking industry of the country. E-waste is a newly emerging hazard to our health and environment. Mass people are not aware ofthis hazard. Like other countries Bangladesh is also stepping ahead to combat the issue. As a result of collaborative awareness campaigns and policy advocacy of many organizations locally and internationally, rules are developing. In Bangladesh, a few organizations including VOICE Bangladesh’s continuous campaign and advocacy Bangladesh Govt. also developed an E-waste management rule for 2021. This project is a continuation of the previous works on e-waste. VOICE worked on the implementation of the new rule and dissemination of information regarding the new rule of e-waste. VOICE also reviews the gaps in the existing rules that need to minimize for proper implementation. Voice also conducted a study on business model for the electronic manufacturers and urge the formal sector to adopt a business model for sound management of e-waste with optimum environmental sustainability. A vast informal sector of e-waste business is still not aware of the hazards of e-waste. It is also a challenge for the Govt. and relevant authorities to implement the rule properly without taking the informal sector under concern. Continuous policy advocacy and awareness campaign are crucial to create a continuous push for the authority to move forward to environmentally sound management of e-waste nationally.

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