Consumers have a nasty habit of throwing out their electronics as soon as newer, shinier models become available, and they rarely ever do so properly. Nearly 42 million tons of e-waste — everything from microwaves and electric shavers to washing machines, laptops, cellphones, TVs and computer monitors — entered the global garbage stream in 2014, according to a United Nations University report.
Like all trash, this stuff doesn’t just disappear. Instead, it stacks up in landfills. Unlike most trash, however, e-waste is often packed with valuable components — as well as toxic chemicals and materials that can cause real damage wherever they end up.
Kyle Wiens thinks the iPad should be banned. It’s a “highly immoral” product, he says, because it can’t be opened and repaired when the battery dies. It’s a throwaway device, and he wants governments to prohibit it.
“It’s not designed to be long-lasting,” said Wiens, who is the co-founder and CEO of iFixit. “It’s like selling a car that has to be replaced when the tires wear out.”
Wiens is the Bernie Sanders of the electronics industry. He doesn’t just want reform — he wants revolution!