The recent reading of the article “Programmed to expire” made me think about the management of resources of our market of thermographs. Its relevance rests in the hundreds of thousands of temperature data loggers that are used every year (in containers of food, sensible products such as blood or medicines) and, unfortunately, most of them are only used once. I say unfortunately because this practice means a continuous increase of electronic waste that have a big impact for environment.
Without doubt, there are cases in which the recovery of thermographs is impossible, as the economic cost would not compensate it. However, I would stress two ideas:
- It exists a social cost, shaped in pollution and exhaustion of resources, which is difficult to measure. It is clear that electronic components, batteries, plastic casing… generate a huge negative impact. We are all responsible for trying to compensate these costs, from the producer (with good recycling programs) to the user (managing for example a good reuse).
- Recycling can create a clear economic benefit. Let’s imagine a single use device with a purchase cost of US$20; and a multiuse one, with a purchase price of US$40. Only by using twice this device, we may cut costs but if we are able to reuse them a few times more, the cost will be sharply reduced.
Are not they two good reasons for, at least, take look and make some figures?
Anyway, I do not
want to simplify a problem that should be addressed by all. There are European norms in specific sectors that require the periodical calibration of devices and most of the times the cost of that calibration is higher than the price of the data loggers… There are also tax and even environmental problems for the recovery of used devices. Finally, reverse logistic is not always simple, especially for small business.
In Coollogger, we bet for these ideas and, in this sense, we are open to any type of collaboration or proposal. We have already started to offer our clients the possibility to return the reusable devices. Moreover, we are preparing an especial program of recycling at great scale.
I would like to continue with this debate in which all, users, producers and government, should take part with new ideas to be more efficient in terms of economy but also in environmental issues. Please, tell me your opinion!