From: ClickGreen staff, ClickGreen, More from this Affiliate
Published July 9, 2015 06:08 AM

E-Waste problem not going away

While electrical and electronic equipment have never been more efficient, economical or in demand, consumers' desire to own the best and the latest is contributing to an environmental issue of increasing seriousness and concern, according to a new report.

"E-waste is one of the fastest growing waste streams in developing, emerging and developed regions and it covers all electrical and electronic equipment and parts discarded by consumers," says Dr Sunil Herat, Associate Editor of the journal Waste Management & Research and a Senior Lecturer in the School of Engineering at Griffith University in Queensland, Australia.

"According to figures published in the Global E-waste Monitor 2014 and compiled by the United Nations University, last year an estimated 41.8 million metric tonnes of e-waste was discarded throughout the world.

"This comprised mostly end-of-life kitchen, laundry and bathroom equipment such as microwave ovens, washing machines and dishwashers, although mobile phones, computers and printers also featured.

"That figure is estimated to rise by almost 20 per cent to 50 million metric tonnes in 2018, which is why waste management practitioners are seeking new technologies and approaches to deal with e-waste."

Dr Herat will discuss e-waste when he addresses the Sixth Regional 3R Forum in Asia and the Pacific, organised by the United Nations Centre for Regional Development and to be held in the Maldives from August 16-19.

He says that while the emphasis so far has been on end-of-life IT equipment such as computers and mobile phones, a focus on a broader spectrum of household e-waste is required if its growth is to be slowed.

Electronic waste image via Shutterstock.

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