Seeking fully biodegradable electronics
Progress has been made in efforts to promote recycling of electronic and electrical goods, but the ultimate goal is fully biodegradable electronics.
Early biodegradable circuits being designed at Stanford University and elsewhere could find use as control circuits for drug delivery via implanted medical systems, for which the slower speed of organic electronics is not a hindrance. Nanopumps for insulin, for instance, are already being designed by a team from STMicroelectronics and Debiotech S.A. (Lausanne, Switzerland); a biodegradable version would function for an expected lifetime of a few months and then simply dissolve away.
Success with biodegradable implants, and improved speeds for organic circuitry in general, could one day allow environmentally compostable electronics to become ubiquitous.
Stricter legislation in the western hemisphere has helped clean up local practices, but unfortunately has also produced an export market in end-of-life goods to the developing world where environmental laws are not as strict.
— Peter Clarke