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World e-waste map reveals national volumes, international flows
Date:12/15/2013

trade data, likely represents the low end of the range as not all whole units may be shipped using appropriate trade codes. Researchers say disassembled products could have been shipped separately but were not tracked (adding that dissembled products are of less international concern than products likely to be disassembled in developing countries).

The research shows that most larger electronic items, especially TVs and monitors, were exported overland or by sea to destinations such as Mexico, Venezuela, Paraguay and China while used computers, especially laptops, were more likely to go top Asian countries such as Hong Kong, United Arab Emirates and Lebanon.

The main destinations for mobile phones were Hong Kong and countries in Latin America and the Caribbean such as Paraguay, Guatemala, Panama, Peru and Colombia.

"An advantage of the trade data approach is that it tracks the destinations of shipped products," says report co-author Randolph Kirchain of MIT. "However, the destination in the trade data may be an initial stopping point. Re-exports and final destinations are not always reported in trade data."

"If it is a stopping point before re-export, the final destination is likely in the same region."

The report underlines great ongoing challenges in related intelligence gathering worldwide, such as a lack of consistent definitions for categorizing and labeling used electronics and their components, minimal regulatory oversight, and limited agreement on the definitions of end uses (i.e., reuse vs. recycling). Among several recommendations:

Create trade codes for used electronic products to enable better tracking and distinction of shipments for example only for repair.

More open access to shipment level trade data to enable more accurate analyses of export flows

Greater reporting of re-export destinations to improve the accuracy of final destinations

Track flows over multiple years to dis
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Contact: Terry Collins
tc@tca.tc
416-878-8712
United Nations University

Ruediger Kuehr
kuehr@unu.edu
49-228-815-0213/-0271
Head UNU-ISP SCYCLE & Executive Secretary StEP

Shereen Kandil
kandil.shereen@epa.gov
202-564-6433
US Environmental Protection Agency
Source:Eurekalert


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