• Uncategorized

Impact of Electronics/Electronic Designs on the Environment

Impactof Electronics/Electronic Designs on the Environment

Impactof Electronics/Electronic Designs on the Environment


Engineeringdesigns have a positive impact in bringing about a quality living.However, as we consider different design options, experts have tostudy the effects of their plans on factors such as the economy,society, sustainability, and the environment. Greener gadgetseliminate the overuse of energy and in turn prevent hazardoussubstances contained in electronics. Green electronics have bothnegative and positive impacts on the environment. Water contaminationand air pollution are among the negative impacts of engineeringdesigns on the surroundings. Product manufacturing is a critical areaof concern and therefore, electronic companies are in haste ofmanufacturing environmental friendly gadgets. Apple, Nokia, andSamsung provide a good example. The emerging issues in Greenelectronics include energy revolution for all renewable sources ofenergy, pollution, manufacturing process control through using rawmaterials that are not depleting the environment, energy control, andmanaging hazardous effluents from reaching the environment.

Engineeringdesigns have a positive impact in bringing about a quality living.However, as we consider different design options, experts have tostudy the effects of their plans on factors such as the economy,society, sustainability, and the environment (Babu,Parande &amp Basha, 2016).Electronics comprise of hardware and software parts. The hardwareelectronics include computers, telephones, radios, and televisions.On the other hand, the software part of the electronics may includehow programs exist (Babu,et al., 2016). To address adverse impacts of electronics andelectronic designs, the green electronic practice should be embraced.


Inthe 21st century, people rely on the use of laptops, tablets, andphones. These products are seen to have an impact of making life tomove on very fast. However, the rate at which the same people disposesuch electronics is raising questions on the well-being of theenvironment. Many countries have raised alarms on the use of greenelectronics, which are long lasting. Greener gadgets eliminate theoveruse of energy and in turn prevent hazardous substances containedin electronics. Suppliers from East Asia continue using dirty energyin manufacturing electronics. Moreover, no fruits have come forth insaving the environment since many dangerous PVC are still makingelectric cables for TVs and other PCs (Greenpeace,2016).

Negativeimpacts of Electronics/Electronic Designs on the Environment

Theadverse effects are the non-recommended results that the use ofelectronics and electronic designs brings to the environment. Sucheffects are harmful, and therefore, they affect the environmentmaking it an unpleasant place for supporting life (Babu,et al., 2016).

  1. Hazardous Electronics

Theemergence of harmful particles in obsolete electronics (e-waste)brings their release during recycling and disposal. It becomes amajor problem in countries where backyard recycling occurs. Much ofsuch products come from Guiyu China (Greenpeace,2016).The chemicals released when the scraps full of PVC and BFRs burnrelease poisonous dioxins a chemical that pollutes the environment.Important to note is that the phthalates that are used to soften thePVC usually moves out of plastics and form dust which coat vegetationover time, thus, bringing stunted growth to plants (Greenpeace,2016).

  1. Water Contamination

Electroniccompanies and suppliers contaminate water. Water is a source oflivelihood. Basing on the investigation on three sectors PWBs,Chinese industrial sites for component assembly, and semiconductormanufacturer of the chip, it is evident that the companies listedabove release BFRs such as PBDEs and phthalates to ground watersaround them. As a result, water bodies get contaminated withchlorinated organic volatile chemicals (VOC). Basing on the reportprovided in 2009 called ‘Poisoning Pearl,` the investigation showedout that the manufacturers of circuit board often release brominatedretardants in Pearl River (Greenpeace,2016).

  1. Air pollution

Electronicmanufacturing industries release smoke and other toxic effluents tothe air. The contamination of the air affects farming activitieswhich depend on fresh water. Releasing toxic gasses to theenvironment results in greenhouse effects a global challenge on theclimate change (Greenpeace,2016).Electronic companies from East Asia release dirty coal into theatmosphere causing climate change, which results in the globalwarming. Global warming has led to many environmental problems suchas floods and droughts experienced in China (Greenpeace,2016).

Evidently,the electronics utilize energy from the environment. They requireelectricity to operate. As such, it is true that electronic designsdepend on each other. For instance, the geothermal power needs theconstruction of tunnels that channels the energy supply. Constructingthese tunnels leads to land wastage a negative impact on theenvironment (Greenpeace,2016).

Positiveeffects of green electronics

Therising level of electronic companies with different electronicdesigns has resulted in effective competition in electronicproduction. Companies such as Apple, Samsung, Dell, Hp, Lenovo, andLG manufacture electronic devices which reveal quality adenvironmental safety (Greenpeace,2016).Secondly, electronics and electronic design promote the developmentof information system. Many electronic devices in the market suit thecurrent IT demand (Greenpeace,2016).


Initiativesand innovation programs are in place to phase-out products that arehazardous. Environmental green electronic groups are in the frontpart of the campaign to ensure electronic products manufactured meeta stated standard (Greenpeace,2016).In response, there are more products which are free from worst toxicsubstances. For instance, the mobile phone industry representingbrands such as Apple, Sony Erickson, and Nokia. The named brands areeliminating the use of dangerous PVC plastic and BFRs in theirproducts totally. Apple is a company in the lead, and it has doneaway with the use of BRFs and PVC in PC goods that include externalcables (Greenpeace,2016).

Inthe TV industry, no TV is completely free from BFRs and PVC. Despitethe situation, Samsung being one of the greatest TV manufacturingcompany is showing more commitment to eliminating PVC from thetelevisions manufactured. Electronic industry has to be keener and beenvironment sensitive while manufacturing products. Cheap mobilephones such as Huawei, Micromax and Xiaomi have to be denied accessto markets because they are prone to PVC exposure. The measure statedis easy to implement practically through monitoring the supply chainas follows

i.Ensuring transparency is observed from the product down to thesupply chain

ii.Eliminating all the goods that are environmentally unfriendly fromthe supply chain

iii.Putting more pressure on Green Electronics to preserve climate andenergy.

iv.Make policies to stop Greenhouse gas effects on the environment(Greenpeace,2016).


Electronics/electronicdesign have several implications for the environment. However, theadverse effects are dealt with by the measures such as GreenElectronics. Such measures safeguard our environment and, make it agood place to live.Electronicsand electronic design need to use a renewable source of energy. Assuch, promotion of solar gadgets is one way of promoting the use ofclean power supply Electronic industry has to assist in energyrevolution for all renewable sources of energy. It is theirresponsibility to ensure that the future is free from toxicsubstances that are threats to the environment. Pollution is an issueunder strict consideration. Manufacturing process control throughusing raw materials that do not deplete the environment, and managinghazardous effluents from reaching the environment are measures thatbring solutions to these related environmental problems.On the otherhand, the installation of solar power saves businesses’ money,which they use in electric bills. Avoiding energy from oil and otherpetroleum products keeps the ozone layer from the acid rain effectsince the energy used is clean. Evidently, green gadgets eliminatethe overuse of energy and in turn prevent hazardous substancescontained in electronics.


Babu,B. R., Parande, A. K. &amp Basha., C.A. (2016). Electrical andelectronic waste: A globalthe environmental problem in WasteManagement and Research,Vol. 25, pp. 307–318.

Greenpeace(2016). Toxic Tech: Not in Our Backyard.


UnitedNations University (2014), StEP launches interactive World E-Wastemap.http://unu.edu/media-relations/releases/step-launches-interactiveworld-e-waste-map.html#info