WEEE (e-waste) around the world

Topic Selected: Waste and Recycling

General Article icon Type: General Article

Many developing nations throughout the world lack regulations for disposing and recycling of electronic waste that are sufficient to protect workers, public health  and ecosystems surrounding these recycling facilities. Repair and reuse are popular, and large informal recycling often occurs in developing countries; but in both developed and developing nations, landfilling of e-waste is a practice that leads to public health and environmental issues. Electronic and electrical devices account for a growing percentage of the global waste stream as consumption of new devices increases yearly.

China

Sources and volume

In 2014, over 40 million tonnes of electronic waste were generated around the world, up to 70% of which was discarded in China. China is the world’s largest importer of electronic goods, and the world’s largest importer of WEEE (e-waste). While importing e-waste was formally banned in 2000, China remains the largest e-waste dumping

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