Alarming Report on e-waste
World Electronic Scrap reached last year's record 45 million tons. In other words, 8 percent more compared to the latest estimates, and among all raw materials embedded in various discarded cell phones, televisions and other similar products, there are precious metals such as gold, copper and platinum, according to UN study.
Revenue growth and falling product prices from solar panels up to the fridge is helping to increase the amount of e-waste, a concept that encompasses all devices that work on battery or power.
Unlike 2014, when the estimated quantities of waste amounted to 41 million tonnes, in 2016, electronic waste grew by 8 percent. All this is in the study developed by the United Nations, the International Telecommunication Union and the International Solid Waste Association.
The value of all these raw materials in electronic waste in 2016 is estimated at 55 billion euros, all of which includes metals such as gold, silver, platinum, copper and palladium. Nevertheless, the collection and recycling of only 8.9 million tons in 2016 is documented, and most of the remaining e-waste has ended in dumps, despite the fact that the recycling of such devices carries a noble economic gain
"It is even more striking that only 20 percent of this waste is officially collected and recycled," says Ruediger Kuehr, Head of the Sustainable Development Program at the UN University.
It is expected that e-waste will rise to 52.2 million tons in 2021, according to the study. Otherwise, China was the world's largest source of electronic waste last year, with 7.2 million tons, followed by the United States immediately. What Europe can say is that it is the world leader in waste collection, with about 35 percent. New Zealand and Australia produced the highest amount of e-waste per capita – even 17.3 kilograms each, but only about 6 percent of this waste was officially collected and recycled.
The UN report in question states that many people are reluctant to throw away old gadgets so that afterwards they can afford more advanced and newer models, and also because repair, such as a smart phone or toaster, is more than buying a new one. "There is a lot of discussion about the culture of a society that constantly rejects things, about a society of consumerism and a trend that promotes a better buy of a new than old rewrite," is part of the report.
Kuehr believes that the astonishing fact that the percentage of e-waste recycling is so low is that in 67 countries (covering two-thirds of the population), laws that deal with the disposal of electronic waste are in effect. Kuehr also urged consumers who go shopping for Christmas gifts to recycle accounts. "Christmas gifts are increasingly being offered on batteries or plugs … and this increases the mountain of electronic waste," he said.
In order to better illustrate how much the mass was wasted last year, it is reported that it is like the nine major Pyramids from Giza, four and a half thousand Eiffel towers, or 1.23 million fully charged 40-tonne trucks forming a line from New York to Bangkok and back.