Pascal Leroy, Director General of the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Forum joins us live to discuss their report on a proposed recycling framework for critical raw materials – CEWASTE – and why recycling critical raw materials from circuit boards, neodymium magnets, fluorescent lights and batteries is essential for the long-term sustainability of electronic manufacture. Stephen Cass, senior editor of IEEE spectrum, explains how he has repurposed an old CRT TV to display his favourite web pages using a Raspberry Pi and a bit of python code. We also discuss the importance of the maker movement and the right to repair laws coming into force later this summer. Apple vs. Epic – Our Games Correspondent Chris Berrow, delves into the detail of the Apple vs Epic lawsuit, with Epic asking if Apple’s control over the App Store is anti-competitive, by only allowing in-app purchases through the store and taking a 30% cut of the sales? If Epic wins, this could have huge implications for the games industry, and potentially make in-app purchases considerably cheaper.
In its 2020 Impact Report, Tesla says, “In 2020, Tesla customers helped accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy by avoiding 5.0 million metric tons of CO2e emissions.” The company’s focus is on more than building electric vehicles. Here’s what Tesla has to say about its mission: “We are designing and manufacturing a complete energy and transportation ecosystem that is fully vertically integrated. By doing so, we are creating affordable products that work together to amplify their impact, leading to the greatest environmental benefit possible. We seek to achieve this through our research and software development efforts as well as through our continued drive to develop advanced manufacturing capabilities.” “Climate change is reaching alarming levels globally due in large part to emissions from burning fossil fuels for transportation and electricity generation. The world cannot reduce CO2 emissions without addressing both energy generation and consumption. And the world cannot address its energy habits without first directly reducing emissions in the transportation and energy sectors.
Our lives rely on technology. We work on computers, watch our favorite shows on services like Netflix, monitor our health with smartwatches and stay in touch with friends and family around the globe on our cellphones. These devices make our lives easier. Unfortunately, we also live in an era of planned obsolescence — everything you buy will fail at some point, forcing you to buy a new one. We generate massive amounts of e-waste in our quest to have the newest, fastest and most exciting toy in our collection. What does the life cycle of e-waste look like, and what can we do to reduce the number of electronic devices ending up in landfills around the world? The Life Cycle of E-Waste – What happens to your old cellphone or laptop when it’s reached the end of its life and you get rid of it? That depends mostly on where you live and how you dispose of it. If you live in one of the 19 states that have banned throwing old electronics away with the rest of your household garbage, your electronics are heading for the recycling plant. If not, they’re going to the landfill.
What happens to millions of these? As concern mounts over the impacts of climate change, many experts are calling for greater use of electricity as a substitute for fossil fuels. Powered by advancements in battery technology, the number of plug-in hybrid and electric vehicles on U.S. roads is increasing. And utilities are generating a growing share of their power from renewable fuels, supported by large-scale battery storage systems. These trends, coupled with a growing volume of battery-powered phones, watches, laptops, wearable devices and other consumer technologies, leave us wondering: What will happen to all these batteries once they wear out? Despite overwhelming enthusiasm for cheaper, more powerful and energy-dense batteries, manufacturers have paid comparatively little attention to making these essential devices more sustainable. In the U.S. only about 5% of lithium-ion batteries—the technology of choice for electric vehicles and many high-tech products – are actually recycled. As sales of electric vehicles and tech gadgets continue to grow, it is unclear who should handle hazardous battery waste or how to do it.
cott Donachie, CEO, Companies for Zero Waste, hosted a great a great Webinar on the circular economy that included speakers from the investment side as well as those organizations that have started to put the theories into practice within their own business. After welcoming attendees, thanking the sponsors and introducing some of the topics that would be covered during the session, Donachie turned the Webinar over to the first speakers of the day.
Designing Out Excess Waste
Moderating the discussion on modular design, collection, recycling and using recycled materials, Carrie Mae George, VP Head of Sustainability and Impact at Everledger, introduced both Hilde Sijbring Circle Economy and Miquel Ballester from Fairphone . Hilde spoke about linear versus circular economy and designing out waste. In a linear economy, materials are used for a short period of time and thrown into a landfill. She commented that this is not what we want. We currently live in a world where only 10 percent less is circular. Over 90% of commodities is wasted. Ideally product should be designed to be used again. Technology plays a huge role. As a producer, you keep the control over your resources and where they are, what the condition is and you need technology for that to track and trace your products and assets. Hilde stressed that we need to step up the game and make the changes required.
Together with countries in the Latin American and the Caribbean (LAC) region, UNEP is developing a project entitled “Reduce marine plastics and plastic pollution in Latin American and Caribbean cities through a circular economy approach” co-financed by the Global Environment Facility (GEF). This project aims at facilitating governments and businesses at the city level in the region to address the plastic pollution through accelerating their transition to a circular economy for plastics. The project is planned to be implemented in 6 cities in Colombia (Cartagena, one more to be decided), Jamaica (Kingston, Montego Bay), Panama (Panama City, Colon). UNEP is issuing the following two types of posts to support the development of the project: Data collection consultancy: collection of data related with marine plastics and plastic pollution from the 3 target countries, in particular the 6 target cities; Policy consultancy: policy baseline identification and stakeholder engagement at national and local level related with circular economy, marine plastics, and plastic pollution from the 3 target countries, in particular the 6 target cities.
There is a growing consensus that India is going through a waste crisis, and this awareness unfolds parallel to an increasing awareness of the beyond-human time it takes for plastics to disappear. It is striking that narratives of problems with waste, across different genres, often return to the same figures and figures of speech, the same heaps of numbers and piles of rubbish to give emphasis to the gravity of the affair. These elements reappear as ever more solidifying narratives, the repetitive patterns chalking out narratives of dysfunction that represent the waste crisis. Here I interrogate how such elements, figures of speech from earlier narratives of dysfunctional e-waste management, highlighting the threat of e-waste to the environment, are retooled into stories of success by private business. I do that through the story of a Producers’ Responsibility Organisation (PRO), a Delhi-based start-up I call Sahih Kaam (pseudonym to protect anonymity, meaning right or proper work in Hindi) that I worked closely with during fieldwork. I explore the powerful and influential tropes and imaginaries in action, put into practice by private companies in the pursuit of environmental and social change.
The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee Hearing on Tuesday heard leaders from across the battery spectrum call for U.S. action on the growing demand for advanced batteries to power the transportation technologies of the future. The hearing witnesses also outlined measures that can help ensure the sustainable economic growth of an American battery-powered future, including conservation of limited resources and advanced battery recycling.
Adam Muellerweiss, President of the Responsible Battery Coalition and Chief Sustainability Officer of Clarios, stressed in his written and verbal testimony the need to “create a sustainable, domestic battery economy to decrease emissions, reduce our reliance on foreign supply chains, and increase manufacturing in the United States,” and urged Congress to embrace a lifecycle approach that creates opportunities for domestic job creation.
He also shared important details about the Responsible Battery Coalition’s development of ‘Green Principles,’ an effort to help guide environmentally responsible EV battery manufacturing, use and end-of-life management through its research partnership with University of Michigan’s School for Environment and Sustainability.