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UN Says Electronic Recycling Efforts Are Falling Short of Need

The global production of electronic waste (E-waste) is rising five times faster than current recycling efforts. That’s the key finding of the most recent report by the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) and the International Telecommunications Union (ITU).

Released in mid-March, the report “Global E-Waste Monitor 2024” paints a troubling picture of the world’s current efforts to efficiently recycle E-waste. According to the report, less than one quarter (22.3%) of E-waste in 2022 was properly collected and recycled. At the same time, the annual generation of E-waste is rising by over 2.6 million tons each year and will exceed over 80 million tons by the year 2030, an increase of 33% in just 8 years.

Further, the report predicts that E-waste collection and recycling rates will drop to just 20% of all generated E-waste by 2030, due in large part to disparate recycling efforts among countries that are the largest producers of E-waste in the world.

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Providing one glimmer of hope, the report predicts that the benefits of E-waste collection and recycling efforts would dramatically exceed their cost, provided that collection and recycling efforts could achieve a threshold rate of 60% by 2030.

Read the UN press release on its report addressing the rise of electronic waste.

 

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