The International Telecommunications Union (ITU) and United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) have released their Global E-Waste Monitor 2024.

The report focusses on e-waste, such as smartphones, computers and solar panels. It does not cover lithium batteries used in e-vehicles.

Less than 23 per cent of the 62 billion kg of e-waste generated in 2022 was properly recycled, the report noted. This is cause for alarm since e-waste contains a slew of toxic chemicals and metals which should not be dumped as they can contaminate earth, water and air. Unfortunately, the growing e-waste explosion is not being contained by adequate recycling. Even the US and Europe are lagging in recycling a big chunk of discarded electronics.

According to the report India has little or no effective recycling of e-waste. The ITU -UNITAR study predicts that e-waste generation increase by over 10 billion kg by 2030. It fears that unless the recycling effort is stepped up, it will be overwhelmed by the waste generated. The most e-waste per capita generated is in Europe, followed by Asia and then America. By total weight, China generated the most e-waste in 2022 at 12 billion kg with America second at 7.2 billion kg followed be India at 4.1 billion kg.

The report cites several reasons which comes in the way of 100 per cent recycling. Lack of education and legislation is chief among them.