This is a case of Apple Corporation and its apparently less than effective efforts of disposing all or at least minimizing the volume of electronic waste that comes as a result of its large scale electronic device manufacturing, marketing, and sales. Basically, the main problem is that most electronic device-related companies, even ones similar or at least close to the size of Apple Corporation do not have a standardized or generally accepted perspective of defining electronic waste and so as a result, they fail to make the necessary efforts to counter their proliferation. Basically, the reason why the proliferation of electronic waste in the environment is an issue is the fact that most electronic devices such as CRT monitors, for example, contain harmful contaminants like cadmium, lead, brominated flame retardants and other potentially health-threatening materials used during the production and storage of the devices.
Below is a step by step diagram that shows the causal sequence of failure to identify and later on properly dispose of electronic waste.
The electronic devices gets sold to the market consumers
After some time, these electronic devices either get broken or obsolete, and so the market consumers would decide to replace them, disposing off the electronic devices
Because there is no standardized way to do this, majority of the electronic devices for disposal would be inappropriately discarded
The harmful contaminants stored inside the electronic devices would most likely leak out to the environment, especially if they were not disposed properly. This is what actually makes this problem a geophysical and environmental issue at the same time. These harmful contaminants can pose a serious threat to the customer’s health because heavy metals have been proven to be harmful to human health as it can cause cancer and other serious illnesses; to the environment as the harmful contaminants can, for example, leak out to the rivers, ocean, water reservoirs located underground, and even contaminate the soil, rendering it unusable for agriculture and other useful purposes.
If the negative effects of these harmful contaminants from electronic waste on the market consumers’ health are to progress to a much larger scale, it can easily become a worldwide social issue. After all, governments spend a certain portion of their budget to provide for the healthcare and medical needs of their citizens. This, in a way, automatically makes improper disposal of electronic wastes a political and economic issue, although this may not seem to be the case during the early stages of its development.
Improper disposal of electronic wastes may also be a legal issue, especially in some countries that already have a legal policy concerning the proper disposal of electronic wastes and other potentially hazardous products and materials. Specifically, companies who fail to abide by such laws would tend to face penalties, either in the form of fines or the stripping off of their permits to operate.
And lastly, outdated electronic waste disposal practices may prove to be a technological issue because it lowers the standard of sustainability in the electronic devices industry. Utilization of outdated e-waste disposal practices by large companies like Apple would really not discourage smaller companies to be proactive when it comes to revamping their e-waste disposal practices, in fact, it may discourage them to do so. In the end, the entire technological industry would be stagnant as a result of the lack of drive of the organizations involved to improve in this aspect.
All in all, the most prominent issues, in relation to the eight environments of business, that may come as a result of poor e-waste disposal practices by companies, even ones that are as large as Apple Corporation, are the health and environmental issues. This is mainly because the health of the consumers and the environment are the ones that would be heavily affected if electronic device companies and policymakers still fail to make real meaningful actions to solve the issue on proper and sustainable electronic waste disposal.