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More Affordable Devices Lead to Doubling of E-Waste in China Since 2010

January 31, 2017

More Affordable Devices Lead to Doubling of E-Waste in China Since 2010

January 31, 2017
by Sustainable Brands

The volume of discarded electronics in East and South-East Asia jumped almost two-thirds between 2010 and 2015, and e-waste generation is growing fast in both total volume and per capita measures, according to new research by United Nations University (UNU).

Driven by rising incomes and high demand for new gadgets and appliances, the average increase in e-waste across all 12 countries and areas analyzed — Cambodia, China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam — was 63 percent in the five years ending in 2015 and totaled 12.3 million tonnes, a weight 2.4 times that of the Great Pyramid of Giza.

China’s generation of e-waste more than doubled between 2010 and 2015 to 6.7 million tonnes, up 107 percent.

The first Regional E-waste Monitor: East and Southeast Asia was compiled by the UNU through its Sustainable Cycles (SCYCLE) program and funded by the Japanese Ministry of the Environment. Using UN University’s estimation methodology, the research shows rising e-waste quantities outpacing population growth. The average e-waste generation per capita in the region was approximately 10 kg in 2015, with the highest generation found in Hong Kong (21.7 kg), followed by Singapore (19.95 kg) and Taiwan (19.13 kg). There were large differences between nations on the per capita scales, with Cambodia (1.10 kg), Vietnam (1.34 kg) and the Philippines (1.35 kg) the lowest e-waste generators per capita in 2015.

The report uniquely presents a summary of the regional e-waste statuses, and it is arranged to allow direct comparisons where possible that can help further the development of e-waste management systems and policies based on other countries’ experiences.

Read more at Sustainable Brands.

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