$10bn of precious metals dumped each year in electronic waste, says UN

A fast growing mountain of toxic e-waste is polluting the planet and damaging health, says new report

Ecotechprom electronic and electric equipment recycling plant in Moscow<br>MOSCOW, RUSSIA - FEBRUARY 21, 2020: An employee at the Ecotechprom electronic and electric equipment recycling plant of the Ecopolis Corporation, Russia’s leading enterprise investing in recycling and utilization of electronic and electric equipment; its recycling efficiency reaches 95% of the incoming volume. Sergei Karpukhin/TASS (Photo by Sergei Karpukhin\TASS via Getty Images)

A worker at an electronic and electric equipment recycling and reuse plant, belonging to Ecopolis Corporation, in Moscow. Photograph: Sergei Karpukhin/Tass

At least $10bn (£7.9bn) worth of gold, platinum and other precious metals are dumped every year in the growing mountain of electronic waste that is polluting the planet, according to a new UN report.

A record 54m tonnes of “e-waste” was generated worldwide in 2019, up 21% in five years, the UN’s Global E-waste Monitor report found. The 2019 figure is equivalent to 7.3kg for every man, woman and child on Earth, though use is concentrated in richer nations. The amount of e-waste is rising three times faster than the world’s population, and only 17% of it was recycled in 2019.

Electronic and electrical goods, from phones and computers to refrigerators and kettles, have become indispensable in modern societies and enhance lives. But they often contain toxic chemicals, and soaring production and waste damages human health and the environment, and fuels the climate crisis.

The report blames lack of regulation and the short lifespan of products that are hard or impossible to repair. Experts called the situation a “wholly preventable global scandal”.

People in northern Europe produced the most e-waste – 22.4kg per person in 2019. The amount was half as much in eastern Europe. Australians and New Zealanders disposed of 21.3kg per person, while in the US and Canada the figure was 20.9kg. Averages across Asia and Africa were much lower, at 5.6kg and 2.5kg per person respectively.E-waste contains materials including copper, iron, gold, silver and platinum, which the report gives a conservative value of $57bn. But most are dumped or burned rather than being collected for recycling. Precious metals in waste are estimated to be worth $14bn, but only $4bn-worth is recovered at the moment.
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Thailand: The rich world’s new dumpsite for e-waste

Royal Thai Police raid Wai Mei Dat. Gaylord boxes and Super Sacks filled with imported e-waste. Photo Copyright The Nation, Thailand Portal. May 22, 2018. [baselactionnetwork / Flickr]

Thailand has become one of the largest dumpsites for electronic waste from developed countries since China’s January ban on the import of plastic waste. EURACTIV’s partner Le Journal de l’environnement reports. Tiếp tục đọc “Thailand: The rich world’s new dumpsite for e-waste”

72 Hours in Vietnam: Observations from Craft Recycling Villages

oceanconservancy.org


© COURTESY OF ERIC DESROBERTS

Forty per cent of global e-waste comes from Asia

Forty per cent of global e-waste comes from Asia

Copyright: Panos

Speed read

  • E-waste generated in 2016 equivalent to 4,500 Eiffel Towers
  • Asian countries account for 40 per cent of the discarded goods
  • Developing countries still lack formal e-waste recycling systems

scidev.net_[NEW DELHI] Humans generated a staggering 44.7 million metric tonnes of electronic waste (e-waste) in 2016 — the equivalent of 4,500 Eiffel Towers, and five per cent more than the electrical and electronic goods discarded just two years earlier, says a new study.

The trend is set to continue, with volumes of e-waste expected to rise to 52.2 million metric tonnes by 2021. Tiếp tục đọc “Forty per cent of global e-waste comes from Asia”

Beyond recycling: solving e-waste problems must include designers and consumers

theconversation_Agbogbloshie, an area in the city of Accra Ghana, is usually portrayed as an e-waste dump. A more accurate picture would include the repair and refurbishment economy. Agbogbloshie Makerspace Platform

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E-Waste in East and South-East Asia Jumps 63% in Five Years

  • 2017•01•15     BONN

    unu.edu

    The volume of discarded electronics in East and South-East Asia jumped almost two-thirds between 2010 and 2015, and e-waste generation is growing fast in both total volume and per capita measures, new UNU research shows.

    Driven by rising incomes and high demand for new gadgets and appliances, the average increase in e-waste across all 12 countries and areas analysed — Cambodia, China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Province of China, Thailand and Vietnam — was 63% in the five years ending in 2015 and totalled 12.3 million tonnes, a weight 2.4 times that of the Great Pyramid of Giza.

    China alone more than doubled its generation of e-waste between 2010 and 2015 to 6.7 million tonnes, up 107%. Tiếp tục đọc “E-Waste in East and South-East Asia Jumps 63% in Five Years”