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E-waste E-waste

The Global E-waste Monitor 2017

We live in a time of transition to a more digital world, where automation, sensors and artificial intelligence are transforming all the industries, our daily lives and our societies. E-waste is the most emblematic by-product of this transition and everything shows that it will continue to grow at unprecedented rates" says ISWA President Antonis Mavropoulos.

"Finding the proper solutions for e-waste management is a measure of our ability to utilise the technological advances to stimulate a wasteless future and to make circular economy a reality for this complex waste stream that contains valuable resources.” Mr Mavropoulos concluded.

In 2016 the world generated e-waste — everything from end-of-life refrigerators and television sets to solar panels, mobile phones and computers — equal in weight to almost nine Great Pyramids of Giza, 4,500 Eiffel Towers, or 1.23 million fully loaded 18-wheel 40-ton trucks, enough to form a line 28,160 km long, the distance from New York to Bangkok and back.

Experts foresee a further 17% increase — to 52.2 million metric tonnes of e-waste by 2021, — the fastest growing part of the world’s domestic waste stream. The Global E-waste Monitor 2017, launched today, is a collaborative effort of the United Nations University (UNU), represented through its Sustainable Cycles (SCYCLE) Programme hosted by UNU's Vice-Rectorate in Europe, the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), and the International Solid Waste Association (ISWA).