International researchers have determined that one positive impact of the COVID-19 pandemic last year will be a marked reduction in the future amount of e-waste attributable to electrical and electronic devices.
In a report published earlier this year by the United Nations University (an autonomous entity under the scope of the UN General Assembly) and the UN Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR), researchers estimate that global sales of electronic products actually fell by between 6-8% during the period from January-September 2020.
According to the report, this unprecedented decline in sales will eventually prevent nearly 5 million tons of electronic waste from being generated in future sales-related e-waste, a reduction of more than 6% from the estimated e-waste generated under a “business as usual” scenario.
The report also predicts that, although temporary, the likely reductions in e-waste will have the most positive impact in global regions where e-waste mismanagement contributes to significant environmental and health impacts.
Read the UN University report on the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on e-waste.
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