New Portal to Help Address Global E-waste Challenge
The Global E-waste Statistics Partnership, of which the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) is a founding member, launched Tuesday (June 4) globalewaste.org.
It is an open source portal that visualizes e-waste data and statistics globally, by region and by country, for policy-makers, industry, academia and the public.
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.
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.
The Global E-waste Statistics Partnership comprises ITU, the United Nations University (UNU), and the International Solid Waste Association (ISWA).
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.
The portal also details how countries can be supported through capacity building activities of the Global E-waste Statistics Partnership to enhance e-waste data collection.