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How Fast Is Global E-waste Growing?

The most recent update on global e-waste from a consortium of international organizations gives us new data about the problem's scope and grow. Per-capita e-waste growth is slowing, the overall amount is growing with the world's population.

The Global E-waste Monitor 2017 reports that, "All the countries in the world combined generated a staggering 44.7 million metric tonnes (Mt), or an equivalent of 6.1 kilogram per inhabitant (kg/inh), of e-waste annually in 2016, compared to the 5.8 kg/inh generated in 2014. This is close to 4,500 Eiffel Towers each year. The amount of e-waste is expected to increase to 52.2 million metric tonnes, or 6.8 kg/inh, by 2021."

The average amount of annual e-waste per person in the world is forecast to grow 11.5% from 2016 to 2021. This compares to 5.2% from 2014 to 2016. Per capita growth appears to be slowing, but an increasing population will drive e-waste growth 16.8% from 2016 to 20121.

Click on the 'recycle' tag, above, to access more about e-waste


The Global E-Waste Monitor 2014 from the United Nations University offers this presentation of regional contributions to global e-waste. Asia generated the most e-waste in total, while Europe generated the most per inhabitant.

Many individual countries from all regions generated more e-waste per inhabitant than does Europe as a whole. We count sixteen countries that generate 20+ kg/inh annually.