We like to close the year with some encouraging positive news by presenting local tech group PC Dreams, that just launched myhalo, a holistic and integrated platform to upcycle, trade-in, repair, and extend the lives of personal computers and mobile devices.
In their quest to lessen the impact of e-waste from personal computers and mobile devices on our environment, and in envisioning a future free of e-waste, the company has opened myhalo CircularXchange.
According to reports, a record 48.6 million tons of e-waste was generated in 2019, and mobile devices contribute approximately 50% to the e-waste produced by corporations, adversely affecting our environment. Current trend reports predict the total amount of e-waste generated worldwide will reach 67 million tons by 2030. In addition, in a recent article by The World Economic Forum, out of 16 billion mobile phones, 5.3 billion will become e-waste just this year alone.
Considered a first of its type in the world, myhalo will serve as a physical and online space for the promotion of learning, changing the way we use mobile devices, advocating the importance of a circular economy, and raising awareness of e-wastes and its impact on the world. It will be a fully integrated platform for consumers and corporations to effortlessly upcycle, trade-in, repair, and purchase refurbished devices, or donate old equipment while ensuring that all data and sensitive information are securely deleted in the process.
Beyond that, myhalo will also bridge like-minded communities and strategic and academic partners, to promote meaningful dialogue and exchange of ideas in a collective effort to change the way we use our digital devices and significantly reduce e-waste, which is aligned with the Singapore government's vision Green Plan 2030.
One such initiative is an ongoing study embarked on by myhalo that aims to determine how much the carbon footprint of a device could be reduced if the device's lifespan was extended till it became both technically and functionally obsolete versus an average use of 5 years, for example. Such studies, according to Mr Tan Ching Hwee, Founder of myhalo, would equip policymakers, service providers and consumers with data on the impacts of their decisions and help them make more informed choices.
Another key service rolled out by myhalo is the S$1.5M Quote & Go system, Singapore's first contactless program that intelligently and accurately assesses the trade-in value of a consumer's digital device, with the capability of churning out over 150,000 possible outcomes with a guaranteed trade-in price. The AI-backed system significantly reduces the hassle of trading in one's devices in a bid to promote trade-ins over simply throwing them away.
Inspired by European countries, such as France and Germany, where citizens are given subsidies for repairs to extend the life of their digital devices and thus reducing e-waste, myhalo has rolled out a campaign that encourages consumers to declutter and donate their old or unused digital and mobile devices. This includes routers, modems, power banks, and even thumb drives, in exchange for an immediate S$30 reduction, when consumers start their zero e-waste lifestyle with them though the purchase of refurbished, pre-loved mobile phones, tablets, and laptops, or to offset any repair costs on devices, at myhalo CircularXchange. The devices donated will be either recycled conscientiously if they are deemed functionally obsolete or irreparable, or given to the needy after proper data erasure and refurbishment.
"We all have a role to play in sustainable consumption and it starts with a change in our mindsets and behaviors," explains Ching Hwee, who was the recent winner of the prestigious Entrepreneur of the Year Award 2022 (EYA), by ASME & Rotary Club. "With myhalo, we are able to develop an ecosystem to raise consciousness to care for the environment."
As to plans for the future, Ching Hwee added, "we will be working closely with NGOs to benefit needy individuals with refurbished mobile devices, and also develop programs to educate the students and the general public on e-waste and what are the preventive solutions they can adopt currently."
Just as nature is circular, where everything is transformed and not discarded, myhalo aims to restore the circular way in which we use our devices, rather than the linear mindset of a “disposable” culture in which we were brought up with.