Classified as the fastest growing waste problem our world is facing, ewaste has a direct and grave impact on the environment and health, with its consequences far reaching into the natural and human world, exacerbated by mismanagement and malpractice.


Hazardous Waste

Contains toxic additives or hazardous substances such as mercury, brominated flame retardants (BFR), chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), or hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs).

Damaging to Health and Environment

A total of 50 tonnes of mercury and 71 kilo tonnes of BFR plastics are found in globally undocumented flows of e-waste annually.

Contributes to global warming

Improper management of e-waste releases CO2 and other toxins into the air from discarded temperature exchange equipment; incineration of e-waste; and extraction and refinement of primary raw materials for EEE production.

Growth is x4 faster than recycling

Recycling activities are not keeping pace with the global growth of e-waste, with rates of 0.4 MT and 2 MT annual growth respectively between 2014-2019.


Production and usage of Electrical and electronic equipment (EEE) requires the mining of rare-earth metals and energy consumption.

Slow regulation and poor enforcement

Policy, legislation, or regulation does not promote the collection and sound management of e-waste.

Statistics is scarce

The lack of data on properly collected and recycled e-waste implies that most of the e-waste generated is managed by the informal sector.

Lost Potential

Only 17.4% of the 57 billion USD worth of precious, critical, and other non-critical metals found in e-waste was formally recycled in 2019.


The world is consuming an unprecedented and growing amount of Electrical and Electronic Equipment (EEE).

  • Higher levels of disposable income
  • Growing urbanization and industrialization
  • Higher dependency on digitalisation, digital communication, and the internet of things (IoT)
  • Increasingly used in transport, health, security systems
  • Integrated into traditional products such as clothes and furniture
  • Shorter life cycles of appliances
  • Fewer repair options


In 2019, 82.6% (44.3 Mt) of e-waste generated remains undocumented.

A large amount of e-waste is being illegally exported to developing countries, often concealed as scrap metal or for reuse.

In developed countries, 7-20% is exported to developing countries and around 8% is discarded in waste bins and subsequently landfilled or incinerated.

In developing countries, e-waste is Mostly managed by the informal sector under inferior conditions, leading to exacerbated negative impacts on public health and the environment.

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