By 2017, all of the year's end-of-life refrigerators, TVs, mobile phones, computers, monitors, e-toys and other products with a battery or electrical cord worldwide could fill a line of 40-ton trucks end-to-end on a highway straddling three quarters of the Equator.
That forecast, based on data compiled by "Solving the E-Waste Problem (StEP) Initiative" a partnership of UN organizations, industry, governments, non-government and science organizations represents a global jump of 33% in just five years.
While most of these used e-products are destined for disposal, gradually improving efforts in some regions are diverting some of it to recycling and reuse.
The escalating global e-waste problem is graphically portrayed in a first-of-its-kind StEP E-Waste World Map, available online at http://www.step-initiative.org/index.php/WorldMap.html.
The map was launched coincident with a complementary new StEP report characterizing US domestic and transboundary flows of used electronics no longer residing in households, detailed below.
The interactive map resource, presenting comparable annual data from 184 countries, shows the estimated amount of electrical and electronic equipment (EEE anything with a battery or a cord) put on the market and how much resulting e-waste is eventually generated (i.e. comes out of use or post-use storage destined for collection by a recycling company or disposal).
By providing a better sense of e-waste quantities to anticipate, the initiative is expected to help governments and companies plan e-waste management.
The map shows, for example, that almost 48.9 million metric tons of used electrical and electronic products was produced last year an average of 7 kg for each of the world's 7 billion people.
And the flood of e-waste is growing. Based on current trends, StEP experts predict
|Contact: Terry Collins
United Nations University