Updated March 20th, 2024 at 20:44 IST

E-waste generated globally stands at 62 million in 2022: United Nations

The report was jointly released by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) and the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR).

Reported by: Business Desk
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E-waste generation on rise: The United Nations' fourth Global E-waste Monitor (GEM) report on Wednesday said that around 62 million tonnes of e-waste was generated globally in 2022. This volume, if visualized, would be equivalent to filling approximately 1.55 million 40-tonne trucks, forming a daunting bumper-to-bumper line encircling the equator.

The report was jointly released by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) and the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR). 

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Despite this massive e-waste output, only a mere 22.3 per cent was properly collected and recycled during the same period. This deficiency not only represents a significant loss in recovering valuable natural resources but also amplifies pollution risks on a global scale, leaving  $62 billion worth of resources unaccounted for.

Looking ahead, the report projected a continuous rise in annual e-waste generation, set to escalate to a staggering 82 million tonnes by 2030, marking a 33 per cent surge from 2022 levels. This upward trajectory underscores the urgent need for a more robust recycling infrastructure and comprehensive policies to tackle the mounting e-waste crisis effectively.

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E-waste, laden with hazardous substances like mercury, poses severe health and environmental risks. In 2022 alone, e-waste contained a staggering 31 billion kg of metals, 17 billion kg of plastics, and 14 billion kg of other materials, further emphasizing the urgency of addressing this escalating challenge.

In response to these findings, the report emphasised the urgent need for concerted global action to ramp up e-waste collection and recycling rates. If countries can elevate collection and recycling rates to 60 per cent by 2030, the benefits, including mitigating human health risks, would far outweigh the costs by more than $38 billion.

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With PTI Inputs

 

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Published March 20th, 2024 at 20:44 IST