THE GLOBAL MANUFACTURING & INDUSTRIALISATION SUMMIT

KNOWLEDGE HUB

Transforming e-waste landfills into national goldmines

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As the world’s addiction to electronics continues to grow, so does the amount of e-waste. Over 44.7 million tonnes of waste from electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) were generated in 2016 alone and this amount is growing at between three and four per cent annually, with only 20 per cent of discarded electronics being recycled. The consequence of the growth in WEEE is not just economic, but ecological due to the heavy metals and toxic materials they contain. To tackle the problem, a mindset shift away from viewing electronics as disposable items is required, and one way to do this is by increasing the pressure on manufacturers to extend the life of products. However, this approach is unlikely to gather ground unless governments legislate to enforce the recycling or upcycling of electronic devices and components.  

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