E-waste is a real problem. In the EU alone, 4.4 million tonnes of electronic waste were generated in 2014, with the United Kingdom being the major consumer of waste electronics in the EU. The results? It is estimated that about one-fifth of all e-waste is recycled in the EU, with a lot of the rest being exported to developing countries.
One of the leading causes of electronic waste in the world is the mass abuse of electronic devices. Due to the mass use of such products, this e-waste or e-tail waste piles up and contaminates the environment.
Every year, millions of tonnes of electronic waste are generated in the EU alone. The Environmental Law Centre estimates that one-third of the world’s e-waste is generated in the EU alone. Not only are electronic devices a major source of e-waste, but they’re also a major source of pollution, with micro-particles of harmful substances such as lead, mercury, and cadmium, which can harm human health.
The European Union is facing a serious e-waste problem. A report published by the European Commission, the executive body of the European Union (EU), shows that out of the 25 billion smartphones estimated to be in use in Europe as of 2017, only 1% are recycled environmentally friendly. The EU estimates that over 500,000 tons of e-waste are generated every year that are not properly disposed of. That is enough to fill over 13 Boeing 747 jumbo jets.
In the EU, more than 31 million people, or one in 10, are employed by the electronics industry, and about 5 million people work in the recycling sector. This is why electronic waste is a serious problem. Poorly managed or illegal recycling of old electronics can contaminate the environment, and it is a major source of e-waste, which is then disposed of in an uncontrolled manner. Without proper management of electronic waste, the EU’s waste management system will not be able to cope with the future generation of e-waste. There is a need to address this problem, prevent environmental pollution and health risks, and preserve the environment and the local economy.
The European Union is the world’s largest producer and exporter of electronic waste. While some countries have introduced recycling programs, others have simply dumped millions of tons of e-waste into landfills or shipped it overseas to be dumped in developing countries. The EU’s e-waste policy, which went into full effect in January, is designed to curb the amount of e-waste shipped overseas and help European countries reduce their e-waste recycling.
The European Commission is currently trying to finish e-waste legislation, including a ban on the export of all electronics, both old and new. If approved, the new rules would prohibit exporting used electronic equipment. They would also forbid the export of new “electronic devices, other than mobile phones,” such as tablets, laptops, and televisions. The law is being proposed to eliminate the widespread practice of dumping, through legal channels, used electronics or old TVs and computers in developing countries. These devices often find their way into children’s hands, who often break them and put them to use.
The European Union (EU) has set up a program that effectively reduces the amount of e-waste generated each year by 65% compared to the national average. The program also includes a national investment of €2.3 billion in the e-waste sector. The program’s original intention was to prevent e-waste from being imported to EU countries and was also designed to promote the recycling of e-waste. In spite of the best intentions, the EU program was criticized for its failure to provide adequate revenue for recycling and the lack of a clear strategy for managing the e-waste generated in EU countries.
The European Union is already doing something about the e-waste problem. This is the continent that invented the microchip and has since realized that it is both good and important for our everyday lives. And yet, it is still in a phase of transition. The EU’s policies on e-waste don’t necessarily follow the same path as the U.S., but they are a good example of the kind of needed changes.