E-waste disposal

The massive amount of E-waste being generated by our digital footprint causes a massive concern as these digital gadgets have a massive waste profile and their disposal is a big cause of concern for us all.

What is happening?

  • As per a recent UN report titled “A New Circular Vision for Electronics” has highlighted the world’s e-waste production.
  • The world produces over 50 million tonnes of electronic and electrical waste particles(e-waste) every year.
  • The e-waste generated by the world weighs more than all of the commercial aircraft ever made in the world.
  • However, only 20% of e-waste is ever recycled and the rest is left discarded as it is.

State of India

  • India is one of the world’s highest generator of e-waste.
  • E-waste of India consists of discarded headphones, desktops, keyboards, chargers, motherboards, television sets, air conditioners, refrigerators and laptops and more.
  • Most of the e-waste is recycled by hand and this exposes the workers to hazardous, dangerous and carcinogenic substances such as mercury, lead, and cadmium.
  • The disposal of e-waste in the landfills leads to the contamination of soil and groundwater which puts food supply systems and water sources at risk.
  • In India, more than 95% of e-waste generated is managed by the unorganized sector. This includes scrap dealers who use crude methods to dismantle the waste products rather than properly recycling them.
  • These electronics will be stored in open yards and they increase the risk of electric leakages.
  • The improper disposal of the products also leads to the loss of valuable raw materials such as gold, platinum, and cobalt.

Point to Note

As per the UN report, over 7% of the world?s gold may currently be contained in e-waste. This is 100 times more gold in a tonne of e-waste than found in a tonne of gold ore.


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