"Although there is ample information about the negative environmental and health impacts of primitive e-waste recycling methods, the lack of comprehensive data has made it hard to grasp the full magnitude of the problem," says Ruediger Kuehr of United Nations University and Executive Secretary of the StEP Initiative.
"We believe that this constantly updated, map-linked database showing e-waste volume by country together with legal texts will help lead to better awareness and policy making at the public and private levels."
The StEP e-waste world map database shows that in 2012 China and the United States topped the world's totals in market volume of EEE and e-waste. China put the highest volume of EEE on the market in 2012 11.1 million tons, followed by the US at 10 million tons.
Those positions were reversed when it came to the total volume of e-waste generated per year, there being more products put on the market in the past in the US which are now likely to be retired. Here the US had the world's highest figure of 9.4 million tons and China generated the second highest e-waste total of 7.3 million tons.
However, the world's two biggest economies were far apart when it came to the amount of annually e-waste per person. Here the US was highest among major countries (and seventh overall) with each American responsible for an average 29.8 kg of hi-tech trash. That was almost six times higher than China's per capita figure of 5.4 kg.
Information covering e-waste rules, regulations, policies and guidance is also available via the StEP e-waste map. This is obtained substantially from StEP member Compliance & Risks' knowledge management platform, C2P, and highlights the huge variety of requirements and lack of consistency in tackling the e-
|Contact: Terry Collins
United Nations University