What innovators are doing to reduce harmful e-waste
There are moves afoot to mend electronic goods rather than trash them, while data collection can reduce breakdowns in future
E-waste is the fastest-growing element of the world’s domestic waste stream, according to a 2017 report by the UN’s Global E-waste Monitor. About 50-million tonnes will be produced annually this year — about 7kg for every person in the world. Just 20 % will be collected and recycled.
The rest is undocumented, meaning it likely ends up in landfill, is incinerated, traded illegally or processed in a substandard way. That means hazardous substances spilling into the environment, poisoning the ground and people living nearby.