A story about e-waste
Thousands of tons of e-waste – such as discarded PCs, mobile phones and TVs - are dumped in Africa and Asia every year. Some of this waste is exported to Pakistan..
In the Karachi district of Lyari, hundreds of workers, including teenage children, earn their livelihoods by dismantling the electronic scrap and extracting valuable components such as copper to sell.
The photo story below by Robert Knoth reveals what happens to that e-waste and the people who try to scrape a living from it. This is an insight into the personal cost of e-waste.
It is good to know that Nokia is innovating in this area. It does quite well on e-waste issues with a comprehensive take-back programme that spans 85 countries providing almost 5000 collection points for end-of-life mobile phones (it has one of the best take-back programmes in India for example) However, its overall recycling rate of 3-5% is relatively poor and needs to be focused on.
Other pluses for Nokia are that it does very well on toxic chemical issues, launching new models free of PVC since the end of 2005 and aiming to have all new models free of brominated flame retardants and antimony trioxide by the end of 2009. Nokia’s overall energy score is boosted by sourcing 25% of its total energy needs from renewable sources in 2007 and a target to increase use of renewables to 50% by 2010. Nokia also scores top marks (doubled) for all its mobile phone chargers meeting Energy Star and exceeding the Energy Star requirements by 30-90%.