Many components found in computer equipment can potentially harm our environment if disposed of incorrectly.
Lead, Mercury, flame retardants and cadmium are the major concern. If the product goes to landfill, these toxins can over time leach into groundwater and our waterways. More information on “Poisons in a PC” can be viewed here.
Packaging is often a problem. MRI has recently engaged with major brand owners to help redesign packaging in view of safe and easy disposal.
Manufacturers are also making an effort to find suitable green alternatives when designing new equipment.
Clever reuse rather than recycling is often ignored when talking about the environment.
If the life of a product can be extended, the energy and carbon required in its original production can be spread across a number of years. The reality is that a PC from 1995 doesn’t do much more than a new one. Most users require only basic word processing and internet browsing and do not require the processing power to launch a space shuttle.
MRI through its activity on a number of environmental and industry bodies is championing solutions to tackle the growing ewaste problem in Australia. Landfill bans and workable models of extended producer responsibility is our aim.
Like anything effecting the environment, don’t wait for government to solve the problem! – it’s the decisions that you make at home or in the office everyday that really count.