Where Do 50 Million Tonnes a Year of Toxic E-Waste Go?

Monday, November 13, 2017
Each year, the electronics industry generates up to 41 million tonnes of e-waste, but as the number of consumers rises, and the lifespan of devices shrinks in response to demand for the newest and best, that figure could reach 50 million tonnes this year, according to specialized studies. Of all these tonnes of noxious waste, a staggering 60-90 per cent of e-waste –worth nearly 19 billion dollars– is illegally traded or dumped, often with the involvement of transnational criminal gangs.

West Africa has been reported by the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) to be a major destination for electronic waste, while some Asian countries are also recipients of millions of tonnes of these toxic materials, sometimes as part of so-called trade free agreements with Western countries. Old computers and mobile phones, electric cables, televisions, coffee machines, fridges, old analogue radios are piling up in landfills across the world, UNEP explains. According to the research, e-waste often contains hazardous materials, which pose risks to human health and the environment, especially in developing countries. Laws and rules can help, but more the personal awareness and responsibility. Read more here. [Jpic News From John Paul Blog, Vol. 5 - N 11].