Information Age is coupled tightly with the advent of personal computers, phones, televisions and other electronic items especially for the majority of the population in developed and developing economies. With the advent of technology arises the problem of Electronic waste, which can be defined as unwanted, non-functional, and obsolete electronic goods that have essentially reached the end of their lifespan. Worldwide 20 to 50 million metric tons of e-waste are disposed of every year, releasing noxious fumes that are polluting the air, water and is harming the ecosystems around the world.
A large chunk of e-waste is not actually waste and is fit for re-use or recycling, though merely a 12.5% is recycled currently. Highlighting this concern and to safeguard the ecosystem from further damage, Arushi Sunil Poddar, a UG student in Fashion Design from Pearl Academy has created an artwork to educate the masses. The work of art is on display at the Oberoi Mall (Goregaon) from 28th April to 30th April. This installation is a part of Arushi’s College Project for which she borrows from ‘Responsible Consumption’, one of the UN Global Goals towards the betterment of society.
The thought provoking artefact highlights the importance of ‘reduce, re-use and recycle’. Sharing her thoughts behind this Arushi says, “The main aim of setting up this installation is to spread awareness among masses to give their e-waste for Recycling only to legitimate recycling companies, rather than to the local scrap dealer. As the latter might not be equipped to handle the e-waste responsibly, leading to grave environmental and health hazards.”
Pearl Academy has a rich reservoir of ideas and the institute is creatively instilling the same spirit in their students. Arushi’s mentor Arundhati Mitra and Kanupriya Sharma, Faculty at Pearl Academy Mumbai are highly pleased with her creation. Commenting on the gravity of the situation, one of the mentors, Arundhati says “Even after having easy access to knowledge and information on e-waste, little do we know about its consequences; it was only recently that a study declared that Mumbai, Delhi and Bengaluru are sitting on a pile of hazardous e-waste. Arushi’s work is very progressive and offers to create more awareness on such a sensitive topic”.
E-waste is a global problem and people across the world are trying to find solutions to reduce and reuse the electronic waste. Not just in India, a New-York based Chilean artist too is trying to transform how we treat e-waste. She finds beauty in the act of re-cycle as she weaves beautiful jewellery pieces from cables and creates some futuristic- feminine adornments. These wonderful women through their divergent thinking are bringing notice to perils of e-waste.