According to data in a recent eWaste report released by the United Nations University, global electronic waste has reached record levels.
In 2014 alone, 41.8 metric tonnes of eWaste was generated. This number is expected to grow up to 50 million by 2018 following an estimated growth of 2 million tonnes per year.
With technology rapidly changing and evolving, and consumer demand for the latest devices building, the rise in eWaste will only continue to rise.
The UNU report highlights “lowering the number of electronics entering the waste stream and improving end of life handling” as strategies to build a more circular economy.
Buyers also have an important role to play. From buying refurbished technology, which helps to boost the aforementioned circular economy, to choosing products that are less hazardous and are designed for safer recycling.
Previously, definitions of eWaste and methods used to evaluate it have varied between regions and made calculations of total volume difficult.
From all eWaste, approximately one quarter (9.3 million tonnes) is made up of personal digital devices such as computers, smartphones and tablets, and TVs.
Household appliances, as well as heating and cooling equipment, account for the remainder.
Europe – Most Per Capita
Asia generated the most e-waste in 2014, with 16 million metric tonnes, followed by the Americas at 11.7 and Europe with 11.6 metric tonnes respectively.
However, Europe generates the most eWaste per capita, at 15.6 kg per inhabitant. Followed closely by Oceania (15.2 kg) and the Americas (12.2 kg).
This is an issue that requires a focused effort to tackle. As technology buyers and users, we all have a responsibility to do what we can to reduce eWaste.
If you would like to help drive towards a circular economy, then call us on 0161 777 1000 to see how we can help responsibly dispose of or recycle your end of life computers.