E-Waste more than the weight of the Great Wall of China?!

On the occasion of International E-Waste Day 2021, leading experts and producer responsibility organisations (PROs) are calling on households, businesses and governments to get behind efforts to get more dead or unused plug-in or battery-operated products to facilities where they can be either repaired or recycled to recover a fortune in valuable materials and reduce the need for new resources.

This year’s worldwide mountain of waste electronic and electrical equipment (WEEE) will total an estimated 57.4 million tonnes – greater than the weight of the Great Wall of China, Earth’s heaviest artificial object, according to some estimates.

Last year’s Global E-waste Monitor 2020 reported that an estimated 53.6 million metric tonnes (Mt) of WEEE was generated in 2019. That represented a 21% jump in the five years since 2014 (with e-waste on a predicted course to 74 Mt by 2030). 

Global e-waste generation is therefore growing annually by 2 Mt, or about 3 to 4%, a problem attributed to higher consumption rates of electronics (increasing 3% annually), shorter product lifecycles and limited repair options.

By weight, discarded big appliances such as stoves and refrigerators constitute the largest component of e-waste.

Disclaimer: This article is based on a press release taken from the WEEE Forum website. WEEE Forum is an international non-government association representing PROs across the globe, headed by Pascal Leroy.

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