Study shows Canada’s e-waste tripled over the last 20 years
It was also highlighted that e-waste comprises many hazardous and valuable materials that would benefit society greatly if properly disposed of or rehashed.
Researchers at the University of Waterloo have found, in a recent study, that Canada’s e-waste output has tripled from 2000 (8.3 kg) to 2020 (25.3 kg). Projected to reach 31.5 kg in 2030, this increase shows little evidence of slowing down.
The study, also providing detailed assessments of global e-waste figures, ‘presents the first estimate of put-on-market electrical and electronic equipment (EEE), the in-use stocks of EEE and e-waste generation in Canada from 1971 to 2030’. Most shockingly, indicators show that both Canadian and worldwide recycling of e-waste lies below 20%, the latter recycling only 17.4% ‘through proper channels’. Furthermore, the World Economic Forum estimates that global annual e-waste could double by the end of the mid-century.
It was also highlighted that e-waste comprises many hazardous and valuable materials that would benefit society greatly if properly disposed of or rehashed. In their news release, the academics hope that their findings will serve as a tool for ‘setting up targets for e-waste reduction’ and that their ‘findings will be beneficial for stakeholders to explore possible material and revenue generation opportunities from e-waste’.
While all of Canada’s regions and territories, except for Nunavut, have e-waste policies, there is no policy for tackling this issue country-wide. This begs the question of whether a more comprehensive piece of national legislation could help flatten the curve of a growing issue worldwide.