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Global E-Waste Monitor (GEM) 2024 Report

Global E-Waste Monitor

Why in News?

The Fourth Global E-waste Monitor (GEM) 2024 was recently released.


The report providing crucial insights into the global electronic waste crisis.

About Global E-Waste Monitor

  • E-waste, short for Electronic Waste, refers to old, end-of-life, or discarded electronic appliances.
  • It encompasses a wide range of electrical and electronic devices, including their components, consumables, parts, and spares. E-waste poses environmental and health risks if not appropriately treated, disposed of, and recycled.
  • The 2024 Global E-waste Monitor (GEM) was prepared by the UN’s International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and the UN Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR).
Global E-Waste Monitor

Key Highlights of the Global E-Waste Monitor 2024

  • Between 2010 and 2022, global e-waste generation surged from 34 billion kilograms to 62 billion kilograms.
  • This upward trend is expected to continue, reaching an estimated 82 billion kilograms by 2030.
  • Unfortunately, only 13.8 billion kilograms of this e-waste were formally collected and recycled in an environmentally sound manner.

Factors contribute to the increase in e-waste

Technological Progress: Rapid advancements lead to shorter product lifecycles.

Higher Consumption Rates: Our reliance on electronic devices continues to grow.

Limited Repair Options: Many devices are designed for obsolescence.

Growing Electronification: More aspects of our lives become digital.

Inadequate E-waste Management Infrastructure: Insufficient systems for proper disposal and recycling.

Informal Recycling Sector

  • The informal sector handles a significant portion of e-waste globally.
  • This holds true for both high- and upper-middle-income countries as well as lowand lower-middle-income countries.
  • The lack of formal e-waste management infrastructure drives reliance on informal channels.

Regional Disparities

  • Europe leads in documented formal collection and recycling of e-waste, with a rate of 42.8%.
  • In contrast, Africa faces challenges, with a recycling rate of less than 1%, despite generating lower amounts of e-waste.
  • Asia, including India, generates a significant portion of global e-waste but has made limited advances in e-waste management.
  • Countries in Asia generate almost half of the world’s e-waste (30 bn kg) but relatively few of them have enacted legislation or established clear e-waste collection targets.

Policy Adoption

  • 81 countries have adopted e-waste policy, legislation or regulation.
  • Sixty-seven countries have legal provisions on Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) for e-waste.
  • Another 46 have provisions on e-waste collection rate targets. Finally, 36 countries have provisions on e-waste recycling rate targets.

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