Design for Environment Introduction : The advancements in day to day human life has led to exorbitant use of devices that are made of materials which are harmful to the environment. After usage these harmful substances are not decomposable and hence they pollute the environment and lead to disasters in terms of health, bio-magnification, and increasing green house gases…
Also the regulations for environmentally friendly cars, the improvements in design of these green cars, the emission characteristics have been discussed. I. Recyclable household items: According to an article by Kat Long (2010), the most commonly recyclable house hold items are paper , cardboard, plastic, metals, glass, E- wastes, printer cartridges and batteries. Plastics: Recycling of plastic wastes has become a prime concern due to poor biodegradability of the materials used. According to Achilias.D. et al (2008), “Polyolefins (LDPE, HDPE, PP) are a major type of thermoplastic used throughout the world in such applications as bags, toys, containers, pipes (LDPE), houswares, industrial wrappings and film, gas pipes (HDPE), film, battery cases, automotive parts, electrical components (PP).” While the condensation polymers can be easily recycled, the addition polymers like PET (Poly Ethylene Terephthalate) are difficult to recycle (Karayannidis and Achilias, 2007). Achilias and Karayannidis (2004), propose a thermochemical recycling called pyrolysis that produce liquid form like gasoline. Sustained Plastic waste management involves the mechanical or chemical methods in which the polypropylene and polyethylenes are converted into useful end products. In mechanical recycling, the polymer is dissolved in a solvent and is separated. Achilias.D. et al (2008) claim that the polymer recovery can be greater than 90% by the choice of proper solvents. The end product quality has been examined by Fourier Transform – Infra Red (FTIR) and Differential Scanning Calorimetry (DSC). The end products of these recycling methods include hydrocarbon gases and oils, which can be again reused as feedstock in petrochemical plants. E – waste: E wastes are primarily the old unused computers, cell phones and other electronic gadgets. In the official website of Apple, ( iMac and the environment, ) , it is stated that the challenging task faced by the computer industry with respect to environmentally friendly design is the use of materials involving mercury, arsenic, phthalates, brominated flame retardants (BFRs), PVC in their products and copper wires. The first E-waste recycling was introduced in Switzerland and later followed by the European Union with the “Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Directive” (WEEE Directive, 2002/96/EC). One crude method of recycling the wires include burning the wires together to extract copper from them. Researchers say that these crude methods may lead to more contamination of air, soil and water. This drives the manufacturers of electronic goods to opt for environmentally friendly materials like mercury free backlighting and display glasses that are free from arsenic. Also choosing materials that are thinner, smaller and lighter enables lesser materials to be used. This reduced usage of materials leads to lesser green gas emissions. (The story behind Apple’s environment footprint, www.apple.com/environment/ ). The manufacturers also undertake a complete life cycle assessment of the product with respect to environmental factors. They also use hybrid methods that save energy by reducing the consumption of energy. For example, Apple proposes three techniques for reduced energy consumption. They are efficient power supply, proper power management and using low ...
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