Why the upsurge in E-Waste?
Technology is becoming more and more integrated into every aspect of our lives. Semiconductors and sensors are being added to products that never before had them, creating wearable monitors, smart homes, TVs that can stream programming from the internet, and much more.
Meanwhile, the life span of devices is getting shorter—many products will be thrown away once their batteries die, to be replaced with new devices. Companies intentionally plan the obsolescence of their goods by updating the design or software and discontinuing support for older models, so that now it is usually cheaper and easier to buy a new product than to repair an old one. Meanwhile, the companies continue to profit from steady sales.
And because prices are dropping, electronic devices are in demand around the world as a growing middle class goes digital. Globally, half of all households now have internet access, and 7.7 billion people have cell phones.