Tablets are all the rage this holiday season, but what are the environmental implications of these popular new gadgets flying off the shelves? A new infographic by Uberflip titled The Sustainability of Tablets illustrates that the growth of tablets is causing a steep decline in the use of paper, a reduction in carbon dioxide emissions, and a decrease in water consumption for the production of electronic devices.
With regards to causes for concern, the infographic points out that electronic waste is an increasing problem as the global rise in technology is contributing to the accumulation of electronic products in the trash. According to Pike Research estimates, global e-waste will increase to 25 million tons by 2025, but device recycling programs being implemented by manufacturers like Apple and Samsung can help to mitigate the e-waste problem.
While the infographic is interesting, it unfortunately completely glosses over additional environmental factors like the manufacturers commitment to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, the use of renewable energy in manufacturing, placing energy efficient tablets in the market or the massive quantities of dirty energy embedded in their manufacturing and supply chains, much of it coming from East Asia.
Further, according to a recent Greenpeace study, some of the biggest tablet manufacturers like Apple scored poorely when it came to transparency on greenhouse gas emission reporting, clean energy advocacy, information on its management of toxic chemicals, and details on post-consumer recycled plastic use.
The bottom line is while we need to hold the manufacturers responsible, we can also help by taking simple steps to combat the problem of e-waste and thereby help make tablets more sustainable.
Check out Uberflip’s info graphic below and let us know if YOU think tablets are sustainable.
Image Source: Meedan Photos/Flickr