The third edition of the Global E-waste Monitor 2020 launched in July 2020 by the Global E-waste Statistics Partnership, provides comprehensive insight to address the global e-waste challenge.
The Global E-waste Monitor is a collaborative effort between the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), the Sustainable Cycles (SCYCLE) Programme currently co-hosted by the United Nations University (UNU) and the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR), and the International Solid Waste Association (ISWA). More and more people are joining the global information society and digital economy, and are benefiting from the opportunities they offer. In parallel, higher levels of disposable incomes, urbanisation, and industrialisation in many developing countries are leading to growing amounts of electrical and electronic equipment (EEE) and, consequently, to greater amounts of e-waste.
This monitor provides the most comprehensive update of global e-waste statistics. In 2019, the world generated a striking 53.6 Mt of e-waste, an average of 7.3 kg per capita. The global generation of e-waste grew by 9.2 Mt since 2014 and is projected to grow to 74.7 Mt by 2030 – almost doubling in only 16 years. The growing amount of e-waste is mainly fueled by higher consumption rates of EEE, short life cycles, and few repair options. Asia generated the highest quantity of e-waste in 2019 at 24.9 Mt, followed by the Americas (13.1 Mt) and Europe (12 Mt), while Africa and Oceania generated 2.9 Mt and 0.7 Mt, respectively. Europe ranked first worldwide in terms of e-waste generation per capita, with 16.2 kg per capita. Oceania was second (16.1 kg per capita), followed by the Americas (13.3 kg per capita), while Asia and Africa generated just 5.6 and 2.5 kg per capita, respectively.