What is the Solution to Humanity’s Increasing E-waste Statistics?

According to the UN, the world created 62 billion kg of electronic trash in 2022 and 82 billion kg by 2030.


The data shows that e-waste generation is almost five times formal recycling. Technology, increasing consumption, restricted repair options, short product lifecycles, growing electronification, and poor e-waste management infrastructure are to blame.

In 2022, the world generated 62 billion kilograms of e-waste, up from 34 billion kg in 2010. Of this 62 billion kg, 13.8 billion kg is 'formally collected and recycled in an environmentally sound manner', while 48.2 billion kg is estimated to be collected and recycled outside of formal systems in high- and upper-middle-income countries with developed e-waste management infrastructure. Another 18 billion kg is handled by the informal sector in low- and lower-middle-income countries without e-waste management infrastructure.

The research also lists 31 billion kg of metals, 17 billion kg of plastics, and 14 billion kg of miscellaneous materials in 62 billion kg of e-waste. Most e-waste is managed outside established collection and recycling procedures, releasing 58,000 kg of mercury and 45 million kg of brominated flame-retardant polymers into the environment annually.

The increase in electronic waste generation poses a huge threat to both the environment and public health. To counteract this growing challenge, we must increase our efforts to improve formal collection and recycling, promote responsible consumption, and expand worldwide collaboration. By prioritising e-waste management and implementing appropriate policies, we can work towards a more sustainable and ecologically conscientious future.