e-waste a ‘modern monster’

Metro Desk

3 February, 2021 12:00 AM printer

Speakers at a programme have demanded the intervention of government to come up with certain policies on how to deal with e-waste management.

They made the demand in a capacity building workshop titled “Efficient Use of Digital Technology and Effective E-Waste Management in Bangladesh” held in CIVIC centre of the capital on Tuesday, said a press release.

Voices for interactive Choice and Empowerment (VOICE), with the support Association for Progressive Communication (APC), organised the programme.

The speakers said in Bangladesh, e-waste is increasing at the rate of 20 per cent every year and there is no guideline on e-waste management. Such wastes contain highly toxic chemicals components that can contaminate soil, groundwater and air, as well as affect the workers and the community living around it. Eminent journalist and writer Saleem Samad, North South University teacher Dr Aireen Zaman, Convenor of  Reverine People  Sheikh Rokon,  former president of Dhaka Reporters Unity Jamal Uddin, Darpan’s director Bashanti Shaha spoke at the event as resource experts.  NGOs, CSOs, journalists, women and youth also participated in the programme.

Executive Director of VOICE Ahmed Swapan Mahmud moderated the session while the key note presentation was delivered by its Programme Officer Abtab Khan Shawon.

Bangladesh generated around 2.8 million metric tons of e-waste every year. Throughout the last two decades cell-phones alone produced 10,504 metric tons of toxics e-waste. Approximately 50,000 children are informally involved with e-waste collection.

Every year around 296,302 TV sets are scrapped and generate approximately 0.17 million metric tons of e-waste. E-waste generated from ship breaking yards alone accounts for more than 2.5 million metric tons of toxics e-waste each year. It causes death to more than 15 per cent of child workers as a result of e-waste recycling. An additional 83 per cent become exposed to toxics substances.