E-waste surges 21% in 5 yrs

About 54 million metric tonnes (Mt) of e-waste was generated worldwide in 2019, up 21 per cent in just five years, according to the UN’s Global E-waste Monitor 2020.

Published: 04th July 2020 08:47 AM  |   Last Updated: 04th July 2020 08:47 AM   |  A+A-

Despite e-waste rules being introduced, the ground realities have not changed much

About 54 million metric tonnes (Mt) of e-waste was generated worldwide in 2019, up 21 per cent in just five years, according to the UN’s Global E-waste Monitor 2020. We take a look

New predictions

The report predicts global e-waste — discarded products with a battery or plug — will reach 74 Mt by 2030

Fastest growing waste stream

This makes e-waste the world’s fastest-growing domestic waste stream, fuelled mainly by higher consumption rates of electric and electronic equipment, short life cycles, and few options for repair.

Valuable garbage

$57 billion worth of gold, silver, copper, platinum and other high-value, recoverable materials were mostly dumped or burned rather than being collected for treatment and reuse.

  • 1 7. 4% of 2019’s e-waste was collected and recycled

Health hazard

Electronic waste contains toxic additives and hazardous substances such as mercury, which can damage our brain and affect neurological functioning.

50 tones of mercury — used in monitors, PCBs and fluorescent and energy-saving light sources — are contained in undocumented flows of e-waste annually.

Key findings

98 Mt of CO2-equivalents were released into the atmosphere from discarded fridges and air-conditioners last year.

0.3% of global greenhouse gas emissions was sourced to this release

E-waste policy

78 number of countries that have adopted a national e-waste policy


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e-waste

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