ITU highlights growing e-waste issue with new partnership

Monday 17 July 2017 | 15:49 CET | News

Looking to tackle e-waste, the International Telcommunication Unions (ITU) has formed the Global e-Waste Statistics Partnership, together with the United Nations University (UNU), acting through its Vice Rectorate in Europe hosted Sustainable Cycles (SCYCLE) Programme. The partners will together seek to improve and collect worldwide e-waste statistics, and work with public and private partners to highlight the issue of e-waste. The idea is for countries to produce reliable and comparable e-waste statistics, and for there to be capacity building workshops, highlighting the importance of tracking and managing e-waste.

In November, the partnership will publish global e-waste statistics in a report called the Global E-Waste Monitor 2017, which will provide a review of the e-waste challenge to inform country-level decision-making on e-waste management. The partnership will also identify best practices of global e-waste management and further identify recycling opportunities, together with other public and private partners.

The ITU noted the rapid growth of e-waste, with the proliferation –and consequent obsolescence- of equipment, such as mobile phones, laptops, televisions and batteries. All the equipment can pose considerable environmental and health risks if not disposed of properly. Most e-waste is not properly documented and not treated through appropriate recycling chains and methods. According to the United Nations Environment Program report Waste Crimes, up to 50 million tons of electronic waste are expected to be dumped in 2017. This represents a 20 percent increase from 2015.


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