“This product will change the world forever“
When hearing this sentence, even though it sounds far away, but it always makes our hearts go with hope. I hope that this invention, technology or innovation will come to make our lives better, more convenient, happier and our world probably will be brighter.
Time passed, these sentences passed into our ears more often. Today, various innovations are not literally far from us. Every time a new product comes out, we always follow both the story and news and also waiting for the day that new technology will come to our possession.
We are fascinated by the speed and convenience of using new electrical and electronic equipment so we pay a little attention to the outdated or broken ones. It is undeniable that these technologies make our lives better, but they also come with a huge cost to the world because of our negligence to the danger of disposing E-Waste inappropriately either from the lack of knowledge or improper dismantler.
Importing electrical and electronic products in Thailand.
The electronic products in Thailand come from two main sources. Ones is importing products from abroad to sell domestically. The other is importing raw materials to do production in the country and export back. Furthermore, some of used equipment and electronics products or broken one are smuggling for sale in Thailand. After these products are on sale, consumers like us are ready to buy them without paying attention to their origins.
E–WASTE with negative effects on the body and harmful to the environment
When these products fall out of our hands, it will be called with a new beautiful name, E-waste or Electronics waste. Electronic waste does not have a concrete definition but most of collected waste are from electronic products used in data processing, telecommunications or for entertainment purposes, such as computers, audio equipment, mobile phones, etc.
However, few people know that almost every electronic waste has components of hazardous substances that affect to both environment and health. It contains, lead that may damage the nervous system, endocrine system, kidney, blood system. Mercury that is harmful to the central nervous system, brain and spinal cord. Cadmium that has acute poisoning, causing severe lung inflammation and kidney damage and kidney failure. These hazardous substances may cause leakage and residue in water sources or in nature which will gradually harm and destroy our body, surrounded people and environment in the future.
Thailand is still lack of knowledge, regulation and good management
In order to prevent these problems, E-waste should normally be classified or collected and recalled by manufacturers and suppliers who are knowledgeable about electronic waste management so they will be handled with the proper management process. But this is not how it is done in Thailand.
Most users in Thailand do not have the awareness that electronic devices contain hazardous element and they must be proceeded appropriately. With the lack of knowledge and understanding of how to discard outdated products, Thai often discard them with solid waste or sell to Saleng or second-hand shop. The burden, therefore, falls to local government organizations, which also do not have a proper system to handle this type of waste, either a separation process or a recycling process.
When ignorance and unawareness are problems, creating both channels for Thais to gain more knowledge and campaigns to raise awareness are good tools for solving problems. However, those methods are not effective in Thailand due to lack of continuity, proper waste management system and collaboration from all party.
Furthermore, Thailand still does not have appropriate regulations, rules, and guidelines for managing the electronic waste including sorting the wastes, recalling product systemand fee collection. The lack of proper management in waste management factories shows that Thai regulation is not conducive to effective e-waste management.
If this is the case, the technology that is existing, may not always be beneficial
In Thailand, many of these problems continue to occur at every step of the process importation, usage, disposal and collection. These are just the beginning, they do not include many problems caused by the improperly throw away electronic waste because we do not enforce appropriate waste management, and good regulation. These ignorance is part of the endless life cycle of E-waste.
These electronic waste management, in the next steps, have to require more things than just knowledge, awareness and understanding because the modernity and availability of tools in both the sorting process and recycling are also an important factor that our domestic organizations are lacking. As long as there are problems in each phase of the life cycle, the e-waste can cause an enormous impact on our communities, environment, and health.
And if this continues, the near future will probably be something that someone said “These products will change the world forever”