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Turning e-waste into solar lamps 

Computing & Tech

The lamps provide much-needed light for small businesses while reducing emissions and landfill


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Spotted: The international network of organisations that make up the Global E-waste Monitor predict that the annual volume of e-waste will almost double between 2014 and 2030 to a total of 74 million metric tonnes (Mt). Despite such quantities of waste, very little is recycled, with the World Economic Forum (WEF) reporting that 83 per cent of e-waste is uncollected.  

A global circular electronics economy is desperately needed. In Nigeria, entrepreneur Dozie Igweilo spotted an opportunity to start circularity locally while also providing a solution to one of the most disruptive regional problems experienced by local communities. His social enterprise, QuadLoop, recycles electronic waste products to build solar powered lamps designed specifically for the small businesses, schools, and social services that suffer most from the country’s sporadic power outages.  

QuadLoop’s IDunnu solar lantern uses lithium-ion batteries rescued from dumped laptops. Lithium-ion batteries have excellent energy storing capabilities, yet damage the environment via the mining that is required to access the metal. By reusing products that are so energy-intensive to create, QuadLoop reduces carbon emissions from heavy industry and prevents additional landfill.  

The company also removes screens, wires, and screws from local e-waste streams, using them to produce lights that are made from 70 per cent recycled materials. Retailing at €32, the lanterns are affordable for solo business owners and essential service organisations such as hospitals. Due to the unpredictability of reused materials, QuadLoop currently offers a one-year warranty along with the option to replace a lantern’s batteries.  

On its website, QuadLoop also advertises two larger energy systems, the IDunnu Pro and a power generator. 

Reusing waste is resulting in a variety of new products, with Springwise’s archive including examples of CO2 upcycling for chemicals and fuels and organic waste being used to create bioplastics.  

Written By: Keely Khoury



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