The life cycle assessment of greenhouse gas emissions and life cycle costs of e waste management in Thailand

The life-cycle assessment of greenhouse gas emissions and life-cycle costs of e-waste management in Thailand


โดย รศ.ดร.อาวีวรรณ ปัญญาโกเมศ อาจารย์ประจำวิทยาลัยนานาชาติ


วารสาร Sustainable Environment Research


          There is no clear direction in the management of electrical and electronic waste products (e-waste), as there are no regulations on ways to do so. This research attempts to understand the trade-off between the economic value and the environmental effects of the current disposal of e-waste to find ways to optimize waste management, focusing on cellphones, television cathode ray tubes, desktop computers, and air conditioners. A life cycle greenhouse gas and life cycle costs were conducted.

          Under the e-waste management status quo, most household e-waste is kept in houses because owners do not know where to discard it. In addition, informal sectors, such as domestic farmers or workers, have been actively involved in collecting and dismantling e-waste for more than a decade, leading to poor management standards for both health and the environment. Without e-waste management regulations, informal dismantlers of products gain slight profits by collecting and selling parts and discarding all non-recyclable waste in municipal garbage dumps. The current practice actually adds greenhouse gas to the atmosphere mainly due to improper logistics management and discarding of refrigerants. The logistics are inefficient because the dismantling communities and recycling locations are far apart. Most e-waste is generated, and most recycling industries are located in the central region (the richest areas), while the dismantling communities are located in the northeastern region (the poorest areas). Furthermore, the life cycle of greenhouse gas and the life cycle costs of e-waste are affected by transportation, and not all e-waste parts can be recycled within the country. High-tech mineral extraction cannot be practiced in the country, and thus, circuit boards and batteries are exported for recycling. To promote a circular economy, e-waste management regulations should be implemented, the costs of proper e-waste management should be internalized, and a full recycling industry should be established in the country.