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EAC Orders Fresh Inquiry to Investigate Mounting E-Waste Crisis

Author:Zhengyang MachineryTimes:2019-08-22
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In a bid to address the mounting e-waste crisis in the UK, the Members of Parliament on the Environmental Audit Committee (EAC) has launched a new inquiry on the entire system dealing with handling of discarded electronic waste. The move is aimed at developing a sustainable circular model to address the proper disposal of waste electric and electronic equipment (WEEE).

The recent technological advancements have led to boom in number of electronic devices. The human affinity to replace older devices with latest cutting-edge products available in the market has prompted rise in amount of discarded waste. As per UN estimates, around 44.7 million tonnes of e-waste were generated around the globe in 2017, out of which almost 90% were sent to landfill, incinerated, handled in unethical ways or illegally traded. The global e-waste volumes are expected to rise further, with the EU countries alone expected to produce nearly 12 million tonnes of electronic waste by 2020.

According to EAC chair Mary Creagh, the UK’s e-waste generation exceeds the EU average. Also, the UK exports more e-waste to developing countries than other European nations. The UK’s attitude to e-waste needs a radical change, Creagh noted.

The EAC inquiry will conduct in-depth study into environmental and health risks posed by e-waste. Also, it will conduct thorough review of the existing UK WEEE collection targets. Furthermore, it will work towards finding ways to improve secondary markets for electrical goods.

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