With the XXIII Olympic Winter Games starting and a record-breaking 102 gold medals up for grabs this year, it got us thinking about medals…and metals in general. With so many uses from giving them as awards for super athletes, to using them in currency, trade markets, and more recently, electronics, it seems like the demand for precious metals isn’t going anywhere, but the supply is limited, even if the U.S. Geological Survey estimates there are 52,000 tons of minable gold still in the ground.
Every single day, 142,000 computers are thrown away in the United States alone. At least, that was the case in 2010. Electronic waste is the fastest growing municipal waste stream in the world. Today, that number is far higher and the only way to alleviate the situation is getting people to talk more about it. Photographer Benjamin Von Wong uses his photography as a way to make a positive social impact.
The Singapore government will be requiring electronic goods producers and possibly even retailers to collect the products they sell and ensure that they are recycled or disposed of properly. Under such an approach known as Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR), the government will set collection targets for these companies, which if not met could attract fines, said Minister for the Environment and Water Resources Masagos Zulkifli on Thursday.
Organisations from the UN system most active in addressing the global electronic waste (e-waste) have pledged to bring an end to it. They have signed a Letter of Intent, paving the way for co-ordination and collaboration for the management of e-waste. The signatories include UN Environment, the International Telecommunication Union, UN University, International Labour Organisation, the Basel and Stockholm Convention and the UN Institute for Training and Research.