E-waste in India; in relation to the story of stuff


The last lecture (Energy and food regimes, social justice, and climate change: the constraints that need to be shifted) was so much of an eye opener for two reasons.

Firstly, the video on the story of stuff reveals our contribution towards environmental degradation and the urgent measures that must be taken in ensuring sustainability.

Secondly, the example of the food production chain (the production of chicken nuggets precisely) reveals the detrimental effect of junk food consumption; not just to our lives but that of factory workers who are continuously exposed to hazardous chemicals all in a bid to make a living wage.

The “stuff” we consume and the trashes we dispose in some way affect the longevity of someone; somewhere on the planet.  Though we may not do so deliberately (after all canny manufacturers of “stuff” do embed obsolesce into their products), more awareness needs to be raised not just within lecture rooms but in our communities.

Below is a podcast from the BBC World Service (digital planets) that highlights the challenging working conditions of poor people in the Northern part of India and how the “stuff” we discard can really threaten the life they cherish.

Note Before; please start from the 19th minute for exact information.



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2 Responses to “E-waste in India; in relation to the story of stuff”

  1. rlinton Says:

    Here is a wonderful example of how state intervention could facilitate sustainable initiatives. Why not pass legislation about the eco-friendliness of mobile phones? Ensure that toxicity is minimised and recyclability is maximised. Fund the creation of local recycling facilities so that further pollution is not created in shipping e-waste to other. Or am I just being utopian?

  2. joelgateretse Says:

    This is a perfect example of how environmental hazards such as the disposal of mobile phones is minimised. Unfortunatly, this does not only happen in India but in so many parts of the world and a very large amount of people consider this to be their main source of income. The majority of people in this “trade” are illiterate and either do not understand the gravity of the situation or choose to accept it for survival.
    I believe it should be the manufacturer’s responsibility to discard old mobile phones in an eco-friendly way like Nokia is doing but the problem is how many phones would they actually get back? I mean we all know that not many of us actually return phones even with adverts such as “your old mobile phone for money”, i personally have a couple of phones somewhere at home that i never thought of returning.
    There should also be more private companies, probably even sponsored by the state to dispose of these materials in a safe manner. Countries should also take responsibility and disallow the importation of such waste unless it can be disacarded in an eco-friendly way.

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