Web portal to help address global e-waste launched

Recycling e-waste presents an opportunity worth over 62.5 billion dollars per year

Tech companies such as HP have put recycling IT products at the centre of their operations.
Tech companies such as HP have put recycling IT products at the centre of their operations.

The Global E-waste Statistics Partnership has launched globalewaste.org, an open source portal that visualises e-waste data and statistics globally, by region and by country, for policy-makers, industry, academia and the public.

The Global E-waste Statistics Partnership comprises ITU, the United Nations University (UNU) and the International Solid Waste Association (ISWA).

Discarded equipment, such as phones, laptops, fridges, sensors and TVs are referred to as e-waste. E-waste contains substances that pose considerable environmental and health risks, especially if treated inadequately.

On the other hand, e-waste presents an opportunity worth over 62.5 billion dollars per year if treated through appropriate recycling chains and methods, with the potential of creating millions of decent new jobs worldwide.

Watch: Video on the Global Partnership for e-Waste Statistics

On globalewaste.org, users can access e-waste data from Global and Regional E-waste Monitors for most countries on Earth. Data include: the amount of e-waste generated in total and per capita and discarded prior to any collection, reuse, treatment, or export; the amount of e-waste formally collected in total and per capita and regulated by environmental protection laws specifically designed for e-waste; and e-waste legislation by country, where applicable.

“Reliable and official data and statistics on e-waste provide the foundation for sound e-waste legislation and management at the national level," said Houlin Zhao, ITU Secretary-General. “To date, 41 countries report compiling comparable national statistics on e-waste. Better e-waste data will help track progress towards global ITU e-waste target that Member States have set for 2023. With its extensive private-public membership, ITU is pleased to be part of the Global E-waste Statistics Partnership, and the new portal is a vital step towards addressing the e-waste challenge."

 Latest estimates show that the world now discards approximately 50 million tonnes of e-waste per year, greater in weight than all of the commercial airliners ever made or enough Eiffel towers to fill Manhattan. Only 20% is formally recycled.

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