24 March 2009

Student demonstration time

Individual producer responsibility (IPR) could well become this year's de rigueur phrase (after 'green shoots of recovery' and 'it's not just cooking – it's a journey).

The idea behind IPR is simple enough. The original manufacturer of a product gets it back at the end of its life and is responsible for its (a) disposal, (b) reuse or (c) retrieval and reuse of individual components.
You may recall Richard Waterhouse's support for the implementation of an IPR directive, pushing – as it will – the responsibility further down the line to the design stage.
So I was fascinated to read about a drive to dispose of electronic waste, or 'e-waste' in the US. The recycling event has been organised by engineering students and encourages members of the public to collect unused and disposable electronics and components. The organisers plan to collect up to 50 tonnes of spent computers, cameras and cell phones which will then be recycled. Although the disposal of end of life products is a short term environmental solution, it does push the burden of responsibility further down the line to the design stage. By designing components to be easily retrievable – 'eco design' – less electrical equipment will end up in landfill.
It's just a shame that it requires the implementation of a new directive to push the electronics industry to address the environmental impact of its products, while a few engineering students have taken it upon themselves to come up with their own solution – albeit a short term one.

Author
Chris Shaw

Supporting Information

Websites
http://www.newelectronics.co.uk/article/17412/A-design-for-life.aspx
http://www.utexas.edu/news/2009/03/23/electronic-recycling-drive/

This material is protected by Findlay Media copyright
See Terms and Conditions.
One-off usage is permitted but bulk copying is not.
For multiple copies contact the sales team.

Do you have any comments about this article?


Add your comments

Name
 
Email
 
Comments
 

Your comments/feedback may be edited prior to publishing. Not all entries will be published.
Please view our Terms and Conditions before leaving a comment.

Related Articles

Making fakes obsolete

A new online community has been established to help tackle the problem of ...

Philips TVs open to hacks

Smart TVs from Philips have been found to suffer from a number of serious ...

TSMC takes on Intel

TSMC's recently appointed co ceo and president Dr Mark Liu used the company's ...

Getting your fix

In today's world, technology is a vital fix for many kinds of problem. But, ...

Fashioning an IP strategy

New Electronics has partnered with leading intellectual property law firm D ...

The fight against fakes

When mission critical electronic systems can be compromised by one counterfeit ...

How to patent a product

This whitepaper from Newbury Electronics is intended to give the reader an ...

Safety critical applications

This whitepaper will first provide an overview of numerous safety standards ...

Transparent Electronics Market

Emerging market opportunity analyst, NanoMarkets, believes that three major ...

Embedded World: Avnet Memec

Avnet Memec has announced it will be launching a new energy harvesting ...

Junction box from TE

TE Connectivity has released a new low profile junction box for BIPV ...

LDOs minimise board space

ON Semiconductor has announced the introduction of five small package, low ...

Proudly made in China?

Is this four port usb hub the worst bit of electronics to come out of China?

What we do...in 60 seconds

For over 50 years, Cambridge Consultants has led the way in innovative product ...

Ask the Expert: Jon Beall

Why are TI's C553x ultra-low-power DSPs ideal for audio and voice applications? ...

The Heartbleed glitch

Last week we were awakened to the news of a new software 'glitch' called ...

Protecting semiconductor fuses

"The silicon chip inside her head gets switched to overload," goes the lyrics ...

What's next after Moore's Law?

We have become used to the semiconductor manufacturing sector meeting the ...

Myrddin Jones, TSB

The Technology Strategy Board (TSB) has hundreds of success stories of all ...

Richard Alderman, SFO

The director of the Serious Fraud Office tells Graham Pitcher he is looking to ...

Lorraine Bardeen, Windows

Lorraine Bardeen, EMEA Group marketing manager, Windows Embedded, discusses ...