E-waste, or electronic waste, is becoming more and more prevalent as more electronics are created. It's a threat to the environment, so, in order to bring it to the forefront of the G7 leaders' minds, a giant sculpture was erected in England.
It's not just any sculpture, though. Based on Mount Rushmore, the sculpture is shaped like the G7 leaders' heads and made entirely out of e-waste. It's called Mount Recyclemore, and it's located across the water from the hotel where this year's G7 summit took place in Cornwall, England.
Created by sculptors from the Mutoid Waste Company's Joe Rush and Alex Wreckage, who were commissioned by musicMagpie, the work of e-art is something to behold. You can clearly recognize the faces of the seven leaders: the U.K.'s Boris Johnson, Japan's Yoshihide Suga, France's Emmanuel Macron, Italy's Mario Draghi, Canada's Justin Trudeau, Germany's Angela Merkel, and the U.S.' Joe Biden.
Some of the effects of e-waste
Electronic devices that are nearing the end of their useful life are thrown out, given away, or recycled — they are turned into e-waste. However, when e-waste isn't recycled it usually ends up in a landfill and can create dangerous environmental effects.
First, e-waste can have damaging effects on soil and groundwater — typically when it's left sitting in a landfill.
As it breaks down, e-waste releases toxic heavy metals, such as arsenic, lead, and cadmium, explains Green Waste Recycling Center. These heavy metals then contaminate the plants and trees growing from this soil, as well as the groundwater in the area. These heavy metals can then enter the human food supply chain, and into animals who rely on these plans and water, leading to serious health complications.
Moreover, e-waste can impact the air around us. When it's disposed of in a landfill, e-waste is typically burnt, which releases hydrocarbons into the atmosphere, polluting the air animals and humans breathe in.
How to minimize e-waste
It's not all doom and gloom, though. As a Harvard University study explains, you can learn how to minimize your e-waste.
You can learn to extend the life of your electronic devices, you can re-evaluate if you need an extra gadget, upcycle devices, buy environmentally friendly devices, donate your used but still working devices, and you can finally recycle electronics through proper e-waste recycling methods.
Perhaps Mount Recyclemore captured the G7 leaders' attention, in any case, it certainly captured ours.