Electronic waste mountain growing five times faster than recycling rate: Report

Ewaste. Photo Courtesy: Unsplash

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IBNS-CMEDIA: The amount of electronic waste – or e-waste – that we produce is at least 62 million tonnes, and it’s rising five times faster than the amount being recycled.

That’s the worrying finding of the UN Global E-waste Monitor report, published on Thursday.

The report looked into the sheer volume of old phones, batteries and other tech that’s thrown away and found that all this e-waste would fill over one and a half million 40-tonne trucks – that’s about enough to form a bumper-to-bumper line of lorries around the Equator.

Only 25 per cent of e-waste is recycled

Data crunched by the UN agencies behind the report – ITU and UNITAR – also found that only around 25 per cent of e-waste in 2022 was officially recorded to have been recycled.

This means $62 billion worth of recoverable natural resources are unaccounted for, increasing pollution risks to communities worldwide.

Worldwide, e-waste is rising by 2.6 million tonnes annually, meaning that we’re on track to reach 82 million tonnes by 2030.

E-waste – any discarded product with a plug or battery – is a health and environmental hazard, containing toxic additives or hazardous substances such as mercury, which can damage the human brain and nervous system.