According to the recent buzz, each household will receive one recycling bin, thanks to a collaboration between the National Environment Agency (NEA) and local Public Waste Collectors. This is in the hopes of encouraging more Singaporeans to recycle. The distribution campaign, according to NEA, will take place in the second half of 2022, with more information to be revealed later. Transparent recycling bins were also tested in the Hong Kah North Single Member Constituency and the East Coast Group Representative Constituency separately. In this blog –  electronic waste disposal Singapore we will discuss this in detail.

Scientists at NTU Singapore have given e-waste plastics a second chance

Due to their complex composition and hazardous additives, electronic waste (e-waste) plastics are rarely recycled, but researchers at Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU Singapore) have found a new utilisation for them by converting them as a replacement for the plastics used in the laboratory cell culture containers such as Petri dishes.

The e-waste plastics were simply sterilised before being used in lab research by the NTU Singapore CEA Alliance for Research in Circular Economy (SCARCE) team. For a week and then, almost 95% of human stem cells planted on plastics scavenged from abandoned computer components remained viable, a result comparable to cells cultivated on traditional cell culture plates, according to the researchers.

These findings, which were published online in the scholarly journal Science of the Total Environment, provide a new sustainable application for e-waste plastics, which account for around 20%. Every year, 50 million tonnes of e-waste are created around the world. According to the NTU research team, recycling them for cell culture in the lab would not only enable maximum value to be extracted from e-waste plastics but would also potentially reduce the quantity of plastic trash generated by biomedical research. According to a 2015 study, 5.5 million tonnes of lab-related plastic waste, which includes cell culture dishes, are generated globally each year.

These latest findings follow up on a study conducted by the same NTU team in 2020, which looked into the effects of e-waste plastics on six different human cell types and discovered that healthy cell growth may be achieved despite the harmful components included in e-waste plastics. The researchers were encouraged by their findings to upcycle e-waste plastic fragments and test them in sophisticated cell culture applications. Plastics from e-waste include dangerous components that, if not properly disposed of, could be discharged into the environment. Surprisingly, we discovered via our research that certain e-waste plastics may successfully support cell development, making them viable alternatives to cell culture plastics used in labs. Instead of recycling them, repurposing them for direct use extends the life of e-waste plastics and reduces pollution. Our strategy is consistent with the zero-waste hierarchy structure, which encourages reuse through materials science and technical innovation.

We urgently need sustainable solutions to plastic trash to limit its environmental and societal consequences, as plastic is a crucial component in our manufacturing and logistics processes. Innovative solutions, such as the proposal developed by such amazing scientists to reclaim e-waste plastic, could help to address the globe’s pervasive plastic waste problem and take us closer to plastics circularity in Singapore and around the world. The NTU scientists’ waste-to-treasure research is in accordance with the University’s Sustainability Manifesto and the NTU 2025 vision, both of which aim to create sustainable answers to some of humanity’s most pressing big challenges. 

What can we do to reduce e-waste?

  • Allow a Certified E-Waste Recycler to handle your electronic waste: You must locate an officially certified e-waste recycler. Working with a licenced recycler eliminates the possibility of damaging another country or losing your personal information to crooks. Before you donate or recycle your electronics, take these precautions. 
    • Rather than just replacing your computer, upgrade it.
    • Before discarding your merchandise, format all personal information.
    • Before discarding your electronic devices, remove the batteries.
  • Dispose of any obsolete technology: As the old adage goes, one man’s rubbish is another man’s treasure. This can be used to aid in the disposal of outdated electrical equipment.
  • Getting Rid of Your Out-of-Date Technology: You can donate old electronics that you no longer use because they may be valuable to others. Your old PC could be valuable to a non-profit organisation or students. You may donate electronically to a variety of charities and businesses.
  • Donate to Electronics Manufacturers and Drop-Off Locations: Many electronic firms have an exchange policy where they will accept back your old devices when you purchase a newer model, often even giving you a discount on your new purchase. Electronic drop-off programmes and drop-off stations for devices such as cell phones and tablets have been established by a few recycling businesses, and these products are then recycled. Any information concerning drop-off locations can be obtained from your local electronics store.

We hope that this blog – electronic waste disposal Singapore was a beneficial read for our readers.