A proportionate amount of re-using, recycling, or disposal services have not come about
The dream of creating a Digital Bangladesh has seen increased focus on our ICT sector, and a technological revolution is now underway in the country. However, while we reap the benefits of this booming sector, a lack of regulatory measures, especially in regards to the disposal of e-waste, is a disaster waiting to happen unless counter-measures are taken.
With the rise in the use of household electronics, the amount of e-waste generated has also seen a significant rise, and is predicted to increase exponentially in the years to come, posing a threat for our environment, which is already at risk from climate change, other kinds of pollution, and poor waste disposal practices.
Despite this rapid increase, a proportionate amount of re-using, recycling, or disposal services have not come about, leading to untreated or improperly treated waste making its way into landfills and open spaces.
While there is something to be said about the conscious consumption of electronic items and creating awareness among users about proper disposal, several structural changes must first be brought into place if we are to ensure that e-waste generation does not become an insurmountable threat.
For one, tech companies have long prioritized efficiency over durability, leading to more e-waste than would otherwise be generated. Along with possibly regulating these manufacturing practices, or at least encouraging more sustainable product designs, a comprehensive set of laws must be drafted to ensure proper waste management, focusing especially on e-waste.
If a proper system of waste disposal and recycling is implemented, it would not only mitigate the negative impact of e-waste, but also allow Bangladesh to make the most of it -- considering that significant amounts of secondary raw materials such as gold, silver, and palladium can be recovered and re-used from properly treated e-waste.
As such, it is imperative that the authorities concerned take this problem seriously, identify key waste generators, and take sufficient measures to deal with what is now becoming a global concern.