As of 2016, the amount of e-waste the world generates has increased to 44.7 million metric tonnes.
Among those waste that were not properly recycled were cameras, microwaves, washing machines, refrigerators, and other similar electronics.
Several countries has taken strong actions to combat plastic waste and pollution, but there’s always more we can do to protect our environment.
Also we need to focus our action plan to this area that desperately needs attention is how we deal with e-waste: discarded electronics, appliances and other products that have batteries or plugs.
According to the new Global E-waste Monitor 2017 report from the United Nations University (UNU), e-waste increased significantly from 2014 to 2016.
In 2014, an overwhelming 44.7 million metric tonnes (Mt) of e-waste was generated in 2016 — 8 percent higher than the 41.4 million Mt was produced.
This waste includes TVs, smartphones, solar panels, refrigerators, and many other devices. Their number is expected to rise by another 17% by 2021, where it will amount to nearly to 52.2 million metric tonnes of e-waste.
What will it be like this year, only 20 percent of the world’s e-waste was accounted for in 2016, meaning only a relatively small portion was collected and recycled.
Furthermore, the report finds that 4 percent of e-waste was thrown into landfills, while the remaining 76 percent was likely incinerated, recycled by third-party organizations, or stored in people’s homes.
“The world’s e-waste problem continues to grow,” said Jakob Rhyner, Director of the UNU Institute for Environment and Human Security, in a press release on the report. “Improved measurement of e-waste is essential to set and monitor targets, and identify policies. National data should be internationally comparable, frequently updated, published, and interpreted.”
In a press release, the United Nations University compared the weight of 2016’s e-waste to “nine Great Pyramids of Giza, 4,500 Eiffel Towers, or 1.23 million fully loaded 18-wheel 40-ton trucks, enough to form a line from New York to Bangkok and back.”