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在线翻译:
szdaily -> Opinion
Who’ll pay the price for this carnage?
    2017-October-30  08:53    Shenzhen Daily

Joseph Lotfy

Writerjoe99@hotmail.com

AREN’T we the most environmentally responsible people out there?

According to an iScienceTimes article and the U.N.-backed organization StEP (Solving the E-Waste Problem) Initiative, by the end of 2017 there will be a 33 percent global jump in e-waste. For some perspective, this also means that within five years, the total amount of discarded computers, monitors, refrigerators, TVs, e-toys, mobile phones and other electronic products could fill enough 40-ton trucks to form a line across three-quarters of the equator. Clearly, we’ve hurt the planet and action needs to be taken to avoid any future harm.

What could we do as humans to improve our planet and make it environmentally greener? Obviously this is a monumental problem to solve with many obstacles barring our way. I propose we employ a “self-efficient” model of disposal in which used items are reused in a different form, thus making our planet greener.

For one, a lot of people work in office buildings, so it’s pretty common to see a lot of people order takeouts, which leads to a lot of plastic waste filling trash bins with useful material. Why don’t companies build a cafeteria to cater to their employees? This will lower the amount of plastic used, is more time-efficient, convenient, cheaper, environmentally friendly, and probably a healthier food choice for the employees. Yes, it is expensive to build or add a cafeteria onto the building, but it would make the earth greener and daily life easier for the employees in the long run.

Additionally, we as a society could collect plastics, melt them down, and then recycle the plastics into straws, containers, plastic cups and other products.

Bike sharing is the latest craze that is sweeping China with approximately 10 million bikes on the streets, but it’s coming at a cost. The bikes use a lot of valuable materials like metal and plastic but the operators have not stated an intention to recycle the used materials. We can see how much waste the bikes are producing. We could separate the metals and plastics before reusing them into another form. Helping the biking industry recycle and re-form the metal waste could help the earth become a little greener.

Electronic waste is another big factor that’s killing the environment, so it’s important to know how to dispose of it and reuse it. According to statistics in 2011, only 10 percent of used iPhones were recycled. In fact, mining one ton of gold ore in Peru yields 0.03 ounces, while one ton of iPhones yields 9.72 ounces. Another disturbing fact is that iPhones use rare earth metals like Lanthanum and Yttrium, but only 1 percent of these metals are recycled. China now has over 5 million tons of electronic waste to deal with every year and with no end in sight.

We have over 7 billion people on Earth, and yet we won’t have enough resources to continue in the future at this rate. There are solutions but it is up to us as to how we solve this issue. We need to be environmentally conscious of what we use every day, because we are paying a price for this carnage.

(The writer is a freelance writer and businessman from America.)

 

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