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  • Subject Name : Sustainable development

Electronic Waste and Circular Economy

Introduction

Rapid urbanization, growing population and rising affluence along with improper waste management systems are contributing to the global waste crisis. In the global waste, plastic waste is particularly challenging due to its non-biodegradable characteristics. The colossal amounts of productions which peaked up to 242 million tonnes across the globe in the year 2016 are an issue of concern (Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation 2020). Electronic waste usually encompasses discarded electronic devices, electrical materials from the salvage recycling reuse and disposable material discovery.

Sustainability is described as the capability to exist in a parallel custom. It is meeting the needs of the present without hindering the needs of the future generations and is grounded on the pillars of environmental, social and economical aspects. A circular economy is basically a system with the closed loops aiming at reducing and eliminating the waste (Kirchherr et al. 2017). This assessment is an extensive analysis of e-waste and its impact on a circular economy, especially in Vietnam. It also discusses the policy frameworks for dealing with the e-waste (ITU 2019).

Some of the commonly discarded e-waste materials incorporate stereos, fax machine, computers, copiers and many more. E-waste contains many hazardous materials which can impose a detrimental impact on human health as well as environment. Its growth is increasing exponentially and has increased three times faster than a general municipal waste in the context of the Australian system (Sustainability Victoria 2020). The recycling of waste must be done in a sustainable manner so that the adverse impact on the environment is reduced. Many frameworks and projects are used to assess this condition of increasing e-waste. The Pace circular projects lay prominence on the four thematic areas that incorporate food and agriculture, electronics, capital, equipment, plastic and fashion and textiles (Pace Projects 2019).

It makes use of cross-cutting social initiatives along with innovation. These projects are intended at ensuring global battery alliance; it also ensures that the secondary material flows are effectively managed. Factor10 is CSD Circular Economy projects intended for bringing companies together and reorganize and restructure how the business corporations dispose-off the materials regarding the global trade (WBCSD 2020). This project targets the circular economy and ensures that the greatest possible values are attained and the waste streams are minimised.

According to authors, under the Waste Electric and Electronic Equipment (WEEE), there are fourteen common categories of waste which have affected the economic value of e-waste streams into the circular economy and have a total worth of 2.15 billion to the European markets. It is also regarded as the widest source of waste across the globe (European Commission 2015).

Policy frameworks need to be strengthened in Vietnam so that the e-trash transparency is attained. In Vietnam, this can be ensured by making sure that the old computers, printers or pointers are delivered to the electronics recycler or at a charity so that the amount of e-waste is diminished (Basel Action Network 2019). The present e-waste policy of Vietnam is aimed at ensuring that the integration among the e-waste source collection is confirmed. Its investigation is based on a collection by utilising sources.

There are several challenges that WEEE in Vietnam faces in terms of a number of traders involved in waste collection people in charge for e-waste collecting and the dismantling process and recycling process (Baldé et al. 2017). These challenges are due to the fact that the geographical location of the country is along the coastline and the contiguity with Cambodia and China plays a critical role in its e-waste collection and disposal. The Vietnamese e-waste collection policy is inefficient in terms of end processing this can be improved by ensuring that the infrastructure is improved within the territory. It can adopt Factor10 to reinvent the business fields.

Conclusion

This assessment has brought forward a clearer picture of the e-waste management systems especially in the context of Vietnam. Electronic waste usually incorporates discarded electronic devices, electrical materials from the reclaim recycling reuse and disposable material discovery. It can be inferred from the assessment that the present e-waste policy of Vietnam particularly lays prominence on the collecting and dismantling of the e-waste and needs to upgrade its end-process by Factor10 to reinvent the business fields. It stresses on the eco-efficiency of the process and makes sure that all streams are recycled. Constant rate of technological advancements in development is contributing to the elevating issue of e-waste in terms of an increment in the disposal issues.

Reference

Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation. 2020. Circular Economy: Don’t Let Waste Go to Waste. https://www.apec.org/Publications/2020/01/Circular-Economy---Dont-Let-Waste-Go-to-Waste

Baldé, C.P., Forti, V., Gray, V., Kuehr, R. and Stegmann, P. 2017. The Global E-waste Monitor–2017, United Nations University (UNU), International Telecommunication Union (ITU) & International Solid Waste Association (ISWA), Bonn/Geneva/Vienna. Electronic Version, pp.978-92.

Basel Action Network. 2019. e-Trash Transparency Project. https://www.ban.org/trash-transparency

European Commission. 2015. Science for environmental policy.

ITU. 2019. E-waste Policies and Regulatory Frameworks. https://www.itu.int/en/ITU-D/Climate-Change/Pages/ewaste/Ewaste_Policies_and_Regulatory_Frameworks.aspx

Kirchherr, J., Reike, D. and Hekkert, M. 2017. Conceptualizing the circular economy: An analysis of 114 definitions. Resources, conservation and recycling, 127, pp.221-232.

Pace Projects. 2019. Projects. https://pacecircular.org/projects

Sustainability Victoria. 2020. Take your e-waste to a better place. https://www.sustainability.vic.gov.au/You-and-your-home/Waste-and-recycling/Household-waste/eWaste

WBCSD. 2020. Factor10. https://www.wbcsd.org/Programs/Circular-Economy/Factor-10

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