Straws and plastic shopping bags might dominate the headlines when looking at sources of pollution, but e-waste is becoming an increasingly-urgent matter that doesn’t receive the attention it deserves.
Unlike plastic or glass, batteries can contain chemicals such as mercury, lead, and lithium. Improperly disposing of batteries means these toxic compounds wind up polluting, and poisoning, our environment.
Who does it impact?
Even though it’s not a problem that’s visible on a daily basis, the effect of battery waste can be detrimental to all of us. When batteries end up in landfills, they pollute the air, topsoil, and groundwater. Over time, the toxic chemicals can make their way into our bodies through the food or water we consume.
In addition to environmental problems caused by batteries ending up in landfills, it’s also important to consider the cost of mining. When we choose to not recycle, we create a need for the production of new batteries. This involves mining which can result in significant harm to animal or human populations that live near sites where materials like lithium are mined to make new batteries.
How can you help?
If you feel like contributing to the global effort to preserve the environment, there are plenty of ways to do your part. E-waste recycling businesses have the technology and expertise to responsibly dispose of, or recycle, old batteries in a sustainable way.
The next time you’re considering throwing out an old cell phone or computer, locate the nearest recycling facility and get in touch. Be sure to research the company beforehand and look for a certification that guarantees your battery won’t end up in a dump.
The growing e-waste problem is one that won’t be solved overnight. The only way to fight back against toxic waste is to spread awareness and practice responsible disposal on an individual basis. It’s our belief that, with enough participation, we can reverse the trend of harmful battery waste in the future.