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Call for Urgent Global Action in Tackling Mounting E-Waste Challenge

The recent study conducted jointly by researchers from the UK, the USA and China has highlighted the need for concerted global action to tackle the challenge posed by rising e-waste volumes. The study was led by Professor Lenny Koh from the University of Sheffield’s Management School with the assistance from a team of researchers from the U.S. and China.

The study titled “Circular Economy and Electronic Waste” calls for the urgent need for cooperation from across the world to bring about major reforms in the e-waste recycling industry. According to Koh, e-waste recycling has immense potentials to contribute to the circular economy, if handled effectively and efficiently. This in turn would avoid negative impacts on health and environment, he noted.

The collaborative study noted that electronic waste such as old mobile phones, computers and printed circuit boards contain toxic components, which if not handled properly, may likely pose huge threat to human life and environment. There are several limitations including lack of adequate recycling infrastructure, as a result of which a major chunk of the toxic e-waste end up in landfills or places where they are handled using the most primitive ways. This leads to release of toxic chemicals into our soil and environment.

The other recommendations of the study include scaling up of available technologies through international cooperation, widespread engagement of private sector in dealing with e-waste and grant of more financial incentives for the industry.

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