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E-waste

E-waste, otherwise referred to as waste electronical and electronic equipment (WEEE), is mainly composed of non-ferrous metals (nickel, copper, lead, etc. E-waste typically encompasses everyday large appliances (professional/household) and small devices e.g., mobile phones, tables, etc. According to the UN, the world generated a massive 57.4 million tons of e-waste in 2021. Unfortunately, only 18% of e-waste is properly collected and recycled. This means that a plethora of valuable materials such as silver, copper, gold, platinum, and others are incinerated or landfilled. E-waste recycling enables the recovery of these valuable materials, alleviates our dependency on extracting new resources and reduces the dangers that improper disposal poses to the environment and human health.

Related EuRIC branch

Less than

40%

of e-waste is recycled in the EU, the rest is unsorted

> 36 million tonnes

of e-waste is generated globally on an annual basis
That’s equivalent to disposing of 800 laptops every second