In 2019, mankind produced 53.6 million tons of “electronic waste” - used electrical appliances.Such data are contained in the report of the United Nations.
According to the document, only 17.4% of “electronic waste” over the past year was collected and recycled. The remaining electrical appliances were thrown out or burned. According to scientists, they contained gold, silver, copper, platinum and other expensive resources worth $ 57 billion.
Over the past five years, the mass of discarded electrical appliances has grown by 21% compared with 2014. If the situation does not change for the better, then already in 2030, scientists predict that the mass of "electronic garbage" will be 74 million tons.
“In most parts of the world, much more“ electronic waste ”is generated than it is safely disposed of. More joint efforts are needed to inform people about this issue and take appropriate measures by organizing appropriate research and training, ”said Nihil Seth, Executive Director of the United Nations Educational and Research Institute (UNITAR) and UN Assistant Secretary General.
Asia generated the largest volume of such waste in 2019 - about 24.9 million tons, America accounted for 13.1 million tons, Europe - 12 million tons. However, in terms of per capita, Europe is recognized as the largest consumer and producer of electronic garbage with annual 16.2 kg of waste per person. The second place in this indicator was taken by Oceania (16.1 kg), the third - North America (13.3 kg). The share of Asia and Africa accounted for 5.6 and 2.5 kg, respectively.
According to the authors of the report, on a per capita basis, the e-waste discarded last year averaged 7.3 kg per inhabitant of the planet.
“Over the past five years, the volume of generated electronic waste has grown three times faster than the world's population, and 13% faster than world GDP. This rapid growth has a serious negative impact on the environment and human health, ”said Antonis Mavropoulos, President of the International Solid Waste Association.
UN scientists estimate that last year's “electronic waste” weighs more than all Europeans put together; their mass is equal to the mass of 350 flagship cruise liners like Queen Mary 2.
“Unofficial and inappropriate recycling of“ electronic waste ”poses a new serious threat that implicitly affects our health and the health of future generations. Every fourth child dies as a result of harmful environmental factors that could have been prevented, ”concluded Maria Neira, Director of the WHO Department of the Environment, Climate Change and Health.