E-waste Causing Problems for Countries

A report was recently released by the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) about the rising problem of E-waste in countries like China and India. Electronic sales are said to grow immensely in the next 10 years, raising the question of what to do about all the E-waste that will come from it.

UN experts say action needs to be taken when it comes to recycling materials such as cell phones, computers, and other electronic gadgets or “hazardous e-waste mountains” could occur in many developing countries.                                    

Statistics from the report predict that by 2020 e-waste from old computers will have increased from 200 to 400 percent from the 2007 levels and by 500% in India. Also in 2020, China’s e-waste from mobile phones will be 7  times higher than 2007 levels and 18 times higher in India. E-waste televisions will be almost 2 times higher in China and India in 2020 as well.

Another eye opening statistic that comes from this report is that China’s production of 2.3 million tons of e-waste in 2010 is second to the United States with around 3 million tons.

The solution that the UN seeks is to establish regulated processes for collecting and managing the e-waste. The UN Under-Secretary-General Achim Steiner, Executive Director of UNEP says this can happen by setting up large, efficient facilities in China to collect and manage the e-waste. China, India, and other countries that are facing this problem need to start planning solutions now to hopefully change this statistic.

For more information on e-waste you can also check out the e-waste guide.

For ways on how you can help stop the e-waste, the Environmental Protection Agency is constantly working to provide consumers with information about recycling their electronics (also called eCycling). Their website will help you find state and local government programs along with manufacturer and retailer recycling programs for eCycling all your electronics.

Posted by Megan