Posted on 31/05/2014 - 14:52
Idea Outline
SCRAPSPONSIBLE provides a web based platform which delivers information about the global e-waste problem and gives consumers the opportunity to compensate negative effects by making their electronic device "SCRAPSPONSIBLE".

The Challenge
Due to increased demand in electronic appliances, shorter product life cycles and low recycling rates the amount of electronic waste is growing rapidly. Around 40 million tonnes per year additionally end up in scrapyards around the globe. Most of the electronic waste is hereby produced in Europe and the US. Although illegal because of the Basel Convention a significant amount of electronic waste is being exported from EU to developing and emerging countries. Technologies needed to recycle electronic appliances are not available in these countries. As a consequence workers use techniques like burning cables and using strong acids to scrap for valuable materials. This affects human health as well as local environment and may find it’s way back to European consumers via global food chains.

The Solution

SCRAPSPONSIBLE tries to tackle the global e-waste problem by combining two approaches. First fighting the root and second fighting the symptom. By providing a web based platform SCRAPSPONSIBLE on the one hand wants to raise awareness of the global e-waste problem and deliver user oriented information about repair, reuse, recycling and disposal of electronic devices in the EU. On the other hand consumers of electronic appliances will be able to make their electronic appliance „SCRAPSPONSIBLE“ by paying a defined fee. The generated funds will support sustainable Recycling and Disposal of electronic appliances in countries of the global south. Therefore SCRAPSPONSIBLE wants to cooperate with partners in the affected countries and establish a transfer of knowledge and technology.

Target group and social impact
In the end all participants profit by challenging the roots and symptoms of the global e-waste problem. On the one hand users of electronic devices profit by the provided information about repair, reuse, recycling and disposal and thereby are also able to become responsible consumers. This could establish pressure towards producing companies to change the production into a circular economy with higher recycling rates, longer product life cycles and electronic devices which are less toxic. The transfer of technology and knowledge into affected countries of the global south decreases the negative impacts caused by electronic waste, creates jobs in the formal sector of recycling and disposal and offers chances for a sustainable development.

Competences of the applicant
We are students of the University of Hohenheim, Stuttgart, Germany. We established a interdisciplinary students group called GlobalCampus Hohenheim which deals with global problems. 2013 we travelled to Ghana to visit the scrapyard Agbogbloshie and also a recycling company which could be a potential partner.

Video Link
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Social Category
  • Environment and Sustainability

  • Tecnology Category
  • Web/Internet

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