With electronic waste (e-waste) on the rise, many countries all over the globe are faced with a dilemma. How can we thrive in a technology-driven world while preventing e-waste from threatening human health and the environment?
Student leaders in several countries in Asia have founded TAE branches and led the forefront in mitigating this global problem. Two leaders from Singapore and Japan sent us the following two YouTube videos that describe the inspiring e-waste recycling situations in their communities.
One of TAE’s branch leaders, HongYi Lu, a student at Raffles Institution in Singapore, describes in this video below that “anything regarding e-waste, you can recycle.” What makes Singapore’s E-Waste recycling program so effective is the incentivization of it: citizens will earn rewards just by dropping off dud batteries and electronics they no longer need. This effort is backed by Singapore’s National Environmental Agency and helps cut down on local e-waste all throughout Singapore.
Another TAE's branch leader, Tianchen Zhang, a student at the United World College of South East Asia (UWCSEA) in Singapore, published the following video detailing Singapore’s methods for reducing e-waste and advocating for responsible e-waste management.
Tianchen remarked that the “[Singapore] National Environment Agency (NEA) is the leading public organization…ensuring a clean and sustainable environment for Singapore,” and that “the government has done a really good job.” The NEA runs the Extended Producer Responsibility Framework (EPR), which pushes electronics companies to take responsibility for their products and prevents future e-waste production. One of the ways the NEA has efficiently ensured the program’s success is by placing e-waste collection bins in high-traffic community centers as well as by incentivizing participation in the program with rewards. This has helped encourage public awareness and support, allowing for a strong and effective program.
Siqi Hu is another pioneering branch leader. Located in Osaka, Japan, at Temma Junior High School, Hu collaborated with Alen Zhang, the Assistant Director of the TAE Operations Committee, to film an enlightening video on Japan’s recycling programs.
As described in the video, in every residential area the residents are required to separate the waste into categories such as cardboard boxes, glass bottles, plastic bottles (labels must be taken off), other plastics, batteries, and miscellaneous trash. Similar to TAE’s own battery recycling methods, batteries have their own specific collection box and are retrieved to be recycled regularly!
Written by Jacqueline Zhou, California, USA