A United Nations Environment Program report has found there has been 50mn tons of electronic waste in 2017 already!
As electronic consumables become increasingly popular, and upgrades are released more often, the quantity of laptops and other electronic devices being scrapped has skyrocketed.
As a result of this, Stanford engineer Professor Zhenan Bao and her team have tried to rethink what electronic devices might look like in the future.
Whilst searching for a flexible, minimalistic way of creating electronics, they may have found a way to drastically cut eWaste.
eWaste Cut By Vinegar
The team has created a flexible electronic device that can degrade with the addition of a weak acid, such as vinegar.
“This is the first example of a semiconductive polymer that can decompose,” claimed Ting Lei, one of Professor Bao’s researchers.
“We have been trying to mimic the function of human skin,” Bao said, noting that skin is stretchable, self-healable and biodegradable. “We have achieved the first two, so biodegradability was something we wanted to tackle.”
The team has also managed to create a degradable electronic circuit and a biodegradable substrate material.
This means that when the device is no longer wanted it can biodegrade into nontoxic components.
“We envision soft patches that are very thin and conformable to the skin that can measure blood pressure, glucose value, sweat content,” Bao said.
How these kind of developments can/will be implemented into everyday consumables will be interesting to see. If the electronics within devices such as mobiles, tablets, and laptops can become biodegradable we may see the eWaste epidemic turned on its head.
If you would like to talk to someone at Tier 1 about responsibly disposing of your business’ unwanted computers and laptops then call us on 0161 777 1000 to see how we can help.