The Problem With E-Waste & Where to Dispose Them in Thailand
Bangkok/ Terra/ Environment

E-waste in Thailand: How to Dispose Your Used Electronics

E waste in Thailand How to Dispose Your Used Electronics

We’re now living in a world where children below seven already have their own tablets and where teenagers do most of their research on their laptops. Adults, on the other hand, get their hands on as many gadgets as they can to help with their work and day-to-day needs. It’s not a surprise anymore that we can’t live without our gadgets, but what happens once they’ve served their purpose? Unfortunately, not everybody knows how to dispose of them properly, a problem that can balloon into a bigger issue and contribute to broader environmental concerns.

The Problem With E-Waste

Electronic waste or e-waste that ends up in landfills don’t rot unlike other trash. Instead, their remnants and residues leak dangerous chemicals like lead that could make their way into the ground, the rivers, and other water sources. These aren’t only harmful to humans, but our ecosystem as a whole.

According to Statista, more than 50 million metric tonnes of e-waste are generated globally every year and sadly, only 17.4% of them have been documented to be collected and properly recycled. In addition, more than 40 million metric tonnes of e-waste are undocumented worldwide. Improper e-waste disposal adds up to the negative things we’re already doing to the planet, so it’s important to be aware of its impact as early as now to avoid suffering harsher consequences in the future.

Old television landfill

Where to Throw E-Waste in Thailand

The Ecological Alert and Recovery Thailand (Earth) said in a report by Bangkok Post that the country discards about 400,000 tonnes of electronic appliances and devices every year. As a responsible citizen, you can make that figure smaller by knowing how and where to send your e-waste.

The Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MONRE) has joined forces with Advanced Info Service (AIS), one of Thailand’s biggest mobile operators, to create over 2,300 e-waste drop points around the country and raise awareness on proper disposal.

Mobile phones, tablets, batteries, power banks, chargers, and headphones are some of the e-waste that you can dispose at AIS shops, Central department stores, universities, MONRE provincial offices, and Samsung service centres nationwide. To find one near you, visit AIS’ e-waste website for a complete list of drop-off locations.

Once collected, the e-waste will go to waste separation plants where they’ll be dismantled according to type, such as circuits, batteries, steel, silver, gold, and plastic. Next, they’ll go through a recycling process where they’ll become plastic beads, steel plates, gold and silver bars, and other materials.

Minimising E-Waste

In today’s fast-paced world, society has put too much pressure on buying the latest gadgets even if our current devices are still working. What we don’t know — or turn a blind eye on — is that manufacturing these gadgets use resources and energy that adds up to the burden on our environment.

Laptop, multiple smartphones

This kind of mindset is something we can’t turn around overnight, but there are ways to take small steps in helping the environment. First, re-evaluate your “needs” and ask yourself if you need an extra gadget. If you can buy a gadget that gives every function you need, go with that instead of having multiple devices.

Second, extend the life of your gadgets and use them until they completely give up. Buy a screen protector and a shockproof case so your phone can withstand heavy blows. For appliances, do regular inspections so they don’t break down prematurely. Clean your devices regularly and avoid overcharging their batteries.

Lastly, avoid buying cheap and single-use gadgets. Don’t be part of the market that makes their purchases based only on the aesthetic element and are quick to head to the bin once they grow tired of using the product.

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