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New Report Finds 90% of Global Electronic Waste is Dumped

A report launched yesterday by UNEP in Geneva found that 90% of all electronic waste is either dumped or illegally traded. The report, ‘Waste Crimes, Waste Risks: Gaps and Challenges in the Waste Sector”  finds that each year our appetite for technology and electronic goods generates a massive 41 million tonnes of waste – and this could exceed 50 million tonnes by 2017.

This report follows swiftly on from findings published last month (and reported in April Clearview) by the United Nations University that while the UK is the world’s fifth largest per capita producer of WEEE, as part of the EU we are leading the way in recycling.

While export of hazardous waste from the EU and OECD countries is banned, globally thousands of tonnes of e-waste are falsely declared as second-hand goods and exported from developed to developing countries. This includes waste batteries falsely described as plastic or mixed metal scrap, and cathode ray tubes and computer monitors declared as metal scrap. The report notes that both small and large-scale smuggling techniques can be observed all over the world, including organized truck transport across Europe.

Executive Director of UNEP, Achim Steiner said: “We are witnessing an unprecedented amount of electronic waste rolling out over the world. Not only does it account for a large portion of the world’s non-recycled ‘waste mountain’, but it also poses a growing threat to human health and the environment, due to the hazardous elements it contains.”

Vickie Fitzgerald, Project Manager at Clarity said: “At Clarity, we only work with Approved Authorised Treatment Facilities for the safe collection and ultimate processing of WEEE arising from the UK. Each of our Producer Members is offered a collection service for their EEE waste, using our trusted network of recycling partners around the UK. We also work with Designated Collection Facilities, moving their WEEE onto an AATF, which again ensures all material is reused or recycled responsibly. “

If you are an AATF or a DCF interested in working with Clarity please get in touch with a member of the team on 0845 129 7177.

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