The volume of electronic waste has reached record levels in 2019

In 2019, the volume of electronic waste has made 53,6 million tons reported in the monitoring report Global electronic waste UN. This is the equivalent of 7.3 pounds of discarded household appliances and gadgets for every person on the planet. If current trends continue, by 2030 the volume of global electronic waste will increase to 74 metric tons — that is, the value will double in 16 years.

E-waste is called decommissioned electrical and electronic equipment such as phones, laptops and televisions. Their growth is comparable to growth of the industry of information and communication technologies and is a growing problem. E-waste contain substances such as mercury, cadmium and lead, which, if mishandled, may pose a risk to human health and the environment. However, about 80 percent of the dilapidated electronics to the landfill, incinerated or illegally sold.

Vanessa forti (Forti Vanessa) from the University of the United Nations and her colleagues report in a new report that the number of e-waste in 2019 reached record highs, the mass of discarded equipment already surpasses the total weight of the entire adult population of Europe. The largest volume of waste produced by the Asia — 24,9 million tons; followed by the Americas (13.1 million tons) and Europe (12 million tons); and the last positions are occupied by Africa and Oceania (2.9 and 0.7 million tons). However, in terms of per capita, the picture looks different: here lead Europe (16.2 kg) and Oceania (16.1 kg), while Asia occupies the penultimate place (5.6 kg).

Approximately 17.4 million tons fell on the share of small equipment such as vacuum cleaners, cameras or fans. About 13.1 million tons was more than large appliances, including cookers and washing machines. Also was dumped 10.8 million tons of cooling and heating equipment, 6.7 million tons of monitors and screens, 4.7 million tons of small it and telecommunication equipment and 0.9 million tonnes of the lamps.

However, only 17.4 per cent of electronic waste were collected and recycled. This means that gold, silver, copper, platinum and other expensive materials, the cost of which the researchers estimated at $ 57 billion, were thrown out or burned, although they could be removed for reuse.

Recycling is complicated process, which requires the development of technologies and applications vtorsyrja. About how this is happening in our country, you can read our article “the Vicious circle of recycling”.

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