What is e-waste?

    03 Oct 2021

    Electronic waste or e-waste is the type of waste that is currently growing most dynamically. It includes:

    ▪ mobile phones, smartphones;

    ▪ computer technologies;

    ▪ printers, telephones and faxes;

    ▪ home appliances, TVs;

    ▪ electronic boards, chips, and electronic toys.

    E-waste is expected to reach about 52.2 million tons by the end of 2021, Waste Management Center NGO states.

    Electronic waste is not essentially garbage. These are electronic equipment and its parts, most of which can be reused or recycled. But in reality, only 15-20% of electronics are recycled properly. The other 80% end up in landfills and pollute the environment. 

    E-waste is toxic and contains many hazardous substances: copper, lead, mercury, cadmium, nickel, PBDE, and PCB, which also harm health.

    In the United States, experts estimate that e-waste accounts for 2% of all waste in the country but accounts for 70% of all toxic waste.

    Electronic waste contains hazardous substances and precious metals – gold, silver, copper, and platinum. For example, in 2016, about 435 thousand tons of mobile phones were discarded globally, the cost of raw materials amounted to 9.4 billion.

    The first e-waste disposal system was launched in 1991 in Switzerland. Buyers in this country can now return all used devices to points of sale and other collection points free of charge. And the total amount of recycled e-waste there exceeds 10 kg per person per year.

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