Every year, the world produces more electronic waste (e-waste) than the last due to advancements in technology that shorten the average life spans of gadgets and electronics. According to the Global E-waste Monitor 2020 report, the world generated about 53.6 million metric tons (Mt) of e-waste in 2019, a 21-percent jump from 44.4 Mt in 2014. It is projected to increase to 74.7 Mt. by 2030.
What makes e-waste worse compared to most other types of waste is that, if not correctly disposed of, it can release dangerous chemicals like lead, mercury, and lithium, which are toxic to the environment, most especially to humans. Exposure to these chemicals can lead to life-threatening complications such as poisoning, immune system disorders, and even cancer, to name a few.
Hence, it is essential to dispose of e-waste responsibly and in an organized manner. Not only will this help ensure human safety and health, but it will also help minimize the negative impact of its disposal on the environment.
As a responsible member of the community, SM Supermalls, through the SM Cares Program on Environment and supported by SM Cyberzone, is launching its Electronic Waste Collection (EWC) Program. This corporate social responsibility and sustainability initiative encourages mall shoppers, communities, and individuals to bring their old gadgets and other e-waste for proper disposal by accredited hazardous waste collection partners.
Acceptable electronic waste includes old or broken mobile phones, mobile phone chargers, power cords, commercial batteries, earphones/earbuds, calculators, printer ink and toner cartridges, small gadgets, and computer wiring, among others. E-waste collection will be available in all SM malls nationwide beginning Feb. 19, 2021. Customers can bring their e-waste every day during mall hours.
“We at SM are committed to continuously look for ways and means to better care for the planet and to support the communities where our malls are present, including addressing the growing problem of e-waste. We must collaborate with the community and work together to promote responsible solid waste management and the proper disposal of hazardous wastes. We cannot do it alone, and we will need everyone’s help,” said Engr. Liza B. Silerio, Vice President for Corporate Compliance and Head of SM Supermalls Program on Environment and Sustainability.
Aside from the SM E-Waste Collection Program, SM’s other initiatives for the Environment include the Trash to Cash recycling market every first Friday and Saturday of the month, across all SM Malls; the Plastic Waste Collection program, in partnership with Plastic Credit Exchange; water recycling across all of its malls; the use of solar energy; the annual Green Film Festival; and the AweSMSeas campaign on marine plastic pollution, in partnership with USAID and PRRCFI, to name a few.
SM Cares is the Corporate Social Responsibility arm of SM Supermalls, with programs to support communities and promote social inclusion and care for the environment. Its CSR advocacies include Programs for the Environment, Persons with Disabilities, Women & Breastfeeding Mothers, Children & Youth, Senior Citizens, and the creation of bike-friendly SM Malls across the country.