No one can deny that electronic gadgets make our day, be it work or pleasure. For millennials, checking updates on social networking sites is the top priority no matter what they do. In a more serious scenario, reliance on electronics includes business communication for cooking and all day-to-day tasks.
Responding to this huge demand, manufacturers make a fortune every quarter. However, some of them are serious about the consequences and responsibilities of the products at the end of life. Add to that the lax attitude of end users or consumers and the picture deteriorates further.
In the recent past, we have witnessed some notable movements in government and law enforcement agencies. Almost all of their efforts, while necessary and commendable, have had no significant impact. While all existing laws are aimed at creating stricter standards for companies and manufacturers, little has been done to bring end users on board.
In such circumstances, it is important that we review the approaches and make some adjustments to the existing communication channels between the public and other stakeholders. Such a fresh look requires active collaboration of all the critical elements of a vibrant economy, a brief overview of which is given below:
Involvement of academic institutions: In any society, academics play a very crucial role in shaping the character of the citizen. Schools, colleges and universities often incorporate the values of people who contribute to their moral strength. In order for the proper transfer of obsolete electronic items to be a moral problem for some of the common people, a progressive society needs to include the necessary modules in its academic curriculum to raise awareness from a very early stage.
Cooperation between manufacturers and government agencies: In each country, when a person buys a car, the relevant government agency takes care of the necessary formalities. The same model can be replicated on a much smaller scale by the manufacturers of electronic products. For example, a mobile phone manufacturer can monitor sales data through its channel partners and notify its customers by text and email when the product is nearing the end of its lifecycle. The same information can be shared with government agencies to help them initiate initiatives for the proper disposal of e-waste.
Policy making by employers: People often learn a lot from their workplace and adapt to the culture of their employers. Business initiatives have been extremely successful when it comes to minimizing the use of paper and electricity. It can be reasonably hoped that an appropriate policy and its careful implementation by companies around the world will make their employees more responsible and sincere to understand the need for e-waste recycling.
We must not forget that the consumer is the most crucial of all stakeholders and without their active participation it is difficult to weld the broken link of the value chain. From now on, the responsibility lies with manufacturers to convince their customers of the benefits of recycling discarded products. But that is certainly not enough. Even offering tangible incentives did not work in favor of the objective. It is necessary to develop a coherent approach that will initiate movements in different layers of our society. The focus should be on raising public awareness of e-waste recycling and the rest will follow automatically.