All electronic equipment contain a range of substances that are harmful if the devices are not disposed of properly. Heavy metals such as mercury, lead and cadmium, antimony, beryllium, arsenic and brominated flame retardants are present within these devices.
These substances have been linked to many grave illnesses and disorders in humans, and have a devastating impact on other organisms as well if they are released into the environment. Management of e-waste in an environmentally-friendly manner thus becomes everyone’s responsibility.
Considering the harm caused to the environment by the careless disposal of electronic waste Hatton National Bank PLC (HNB) will be conducting an islandwide e-waste collection campaign during 15 to 19 October. The bank requests its customers and friends to drop off any old or unwanted computers, phones and similar electronic items at any of its customer centres during this period. These items will be handed over to Think Green (Pvt) Ltd., a registered e-waste recycling company, for proper disposal.
HNB as a responsible corporate citizen has always tried to live up to its motto ‘partner in progress’ in every way. Over the years HNB has consciously taken steps to act in an environmentally-friendly manner.
Being the only bank in Sri Lanka to have invested in a ‘green’ building and in energy efficient technologies, HNB has at all times tried to involve its customers, employees and the community in its quest to protect the environment.
As part of the HNB ‘Green pledge,’ the bank has invested in large-scale tree-planting activities with the help of its customers, employees and school children and has planted over 38,000 trees in the last two years.
“As we pursue to cut down the negative impact to our environment, we identified the newest hindrance we cause to the environment; we call it end-of-life electronics or e-waste – a growing problem to our country which accounts for four to five tons every single day,” said Think Green (Pvt) Ltd. in statement.
Noting that the use of electronics is growing at a much faster pace than before, it said that for example, the usage of mobile phones is growing by 8% per annum, computers usage by 10% per annum and Sri Lanka imports over 20 million CDs per annum.
“Any idea what happens to them at end-of-life? As much as electronics have made life easier to mankind, it has its dark side that has caused irreplaceable damage to the environment in which we live today. Unfortunately many are unaware of what happens to their end-of-life electronics when left unattended or disposed unknowingly.
Seventy per cent of e-waste is toxic and ends in land filling. Electronics contain hazardous and toxic chemicals such as lead, cadmium and mercury and when disposed in land-fillings, toxic chemicals from the e-waste seep into the ground, leaving contaminated water and soil, which remains in soil forever, endangering human life and other living beings.
“We are very happy to join with one of the largest banks in Sri Lanka, which has done abundant CSR projects for our country. Many people who couldn’t dispose of their e-waste in a safe manner can now hand over such waste with ease to the respective branches provided by the bank from 15 to 19 October,” Think Green stated.
“On behalf of the green industry, we thank HNB for their great support in initiating their first-ever e-waste project to the public and creating awareness to make this project very successful. As we work towards creating a healthy environment, Think Green will continue to provide innovative solutions to make Sri Lanka an environmentally-sustainable destination of Asia,” it concluded.
– Pix by Lasantha Kumara