How far can you throw your old mobile phone to save the environment?
“Update: ZeroWaste is now InstaCash”
Throwing away old and unused electronics as rubbish or scrap is the beginning of the e-waste problem. It’s a big problem. How do you tell everyone that throwing is bad? Simple. Get them to throw their old and unused mobile phones for a good cause. That’s precisely what Jaipur based startup ZeroWaste did with their “Phone Throwing Championship” and “Junk Dunk” Tournament at the recently concluded tech-fest PLINTH 2015 at LNM Institute of Information Technology, Jaipur.
Phone throwing is simple. ZeroWaste asked participants to bring their old/unused phones and throw them as far as they could or as uniquely as they wished. For safety while throwing the phones were wrapped up tightly with Cellotape so that they wouldn’t shatter and litter the ground. Winners were chosen on the basis of maximum distance thrown (just as in any athletic competition like discus, shot put and javelin or the old school favourite –cricket ball throw).
ZW collected all the phones used by the participants, paid cash rewards for theirold phones and made a 5 min presentation on how a simple decision to exchange your waste/unused/old electronics items for cash at an authorized ewaste collection outlet (ZW has 30+ centers) can make a huge difference to the fight against e-waste in India.
About 500 participants tried their hands at Phone Throw and 3 winners were chosen in each Men, Women and Freestyle categories. While the winners were rewarded with Goodies and T-Shirts, poor performers were “dared” by spectators to do something embarrassing, wacky, funny or all three!
Since E-Waste is not just about mobile phones, ZW invented a unique game called Junk-Dunk. Basically it is Basketball with 4 baskets that we made out of Junk washing machines. Each team had two baskets to shoot at and two to defend. Small tinkering with rules and people went crazy, playing for hours without break.
Participants pledged to join hands with ZeroWaste in making Jaipur the first E-waste free city in the country. Student delegate from Brazil, Pedro Rorato, admitted that like India, Brazil is also lacking the required e-waste recycling ecosystem and public awareness is the key to ensure 100% recycling.
Indians currently generates about 1.5 Million tonnes of waste electronics annually and it will rise exponentially as India bridges its “Digital Divide”. Sensing higer demand for cheap consumer electronics, companies are flooding the market with “designed to dump” products having shorter life and low-grade plastics.
ZeroWaste is upbeat about spreading the word of “buy one recycle one” to millions of Indians who enjoy the fun of modern electronics and technology upgrades but are clueless when it comes to understanding how the ewaste problem is a time bomb ticking under our very noses.
Says Prateek Goel and Sunil Saradhna, founders of ZeroWaste, “We hope to organise a state level and then a national phone throwing event in the coming year and generate huge awareness about responsible e-waste disposal especially among teenagers and youth.”
Way to go !!
To know more Connect with us today at firstname.lastname@example.org | www.getinstacash.in
Note: This post was originally published in February 2015 and has been completely revamped and updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.