Skip links

Electronic waste growing five times faster than recycling

We use more and more electronic devices. Global electronic waste is rising five times faster than the recycling of e-waste, according to a UN report on Global E-waste Monitor 2024. If countries could bring recycling rates to 60% by 2030, the benefits – including through minimizing human health risks – would exceed costs by more than US $38 billion.

The report says challenges contributing to the widening gap include technological progress, higher consumption, limited repair options, shorter product life cycles, society’s growing electronification, design shortcomings, and inadequate e-waste management infrastructure.

A record 62 million tonnes (Mt) of e-waste was produced in 2022, up 82% from 2010. It is on track to rise another 32%, to 82 million tonnes, in 2030. Just 1% of rare earth element demand is met by e-waste recycling

The report says the 62 million tonnes of e-waste would fill 1.55 million 40-tonne trucks, roughly enough trucks to form a bumper-to-bumper line encircling the equator, according to the report from ITU (International Telecommunications Union) and UNITAR (UN Institute for Training and Research).

Read Also:  Less than 40% of EU e-waste is recycled

Meanwhile, less than one quarter (22.3%) of the year’s e-waste mass was documented as having been properly collected and recycled in 2022, leaving US$ 62 billion worth of recoverable natural resources unaccounted for and increasing pollution risks to communities worldwide.

Worldwide, the annual generation of e-waste is rising by 2.6 million tonnes annually, on track to reach 82 million tonnes by 2030, a further 33% increase from the 2022 figure.

The report foresees a drop in the recycling rate from 22.3% in 2022 to 20% by 2030 due to the widening difference in recycling efforts relative to the growth of e-waste generation worldwide.

Read Also:  Recovering gold from e-waste with new technology

Moonshot News is an independent European news website for all IT, Media and Advertising professionals, powered by women and with a focus on driving the narrative for diversity, inclusion and gender equality in the industry.

Our mission is to provide top and unbiased information for all professionals and to make sure that women get their fair share of voice in the news and in the spotlight!

We produce original content, news articles, a curated calendar of industry events and a database of women IT, Media and Advertising associations.

    Do you want an experienced opinion on a job issue?
    Moonshot Manager is here to answer!

      Moonshot community sharing thoughts and ideas, in a anonymous, safe environment.