Recent increase in e-waste on the African continent
14 September 2020
In 2019 alone, Africa produced a total of 2.9 million tonnes of e-waste. This poses a serious threat to both human and environmental health.
Firstly, there is a lack of structure to manage and recycle the waste, as well as most countries in the continent lacking in policies to enforce the removal and recycling of these items.
Secondly, as some African communities are becoming more urbanised, the result is an increase in the use of electrical appliances; ranging from phones and computers, to fridges and microwaves. One of the issues Africa faces, is that just 13 out of the 43 countries studied, have a national policy of the regulation and management of e-waste in compliance with environmental health standards. This shows that expensive materials such as platinum, gold and silver are being burned or dumped rather than being extracted from the waste and reused.
Africa is still at the bottom of the pile, with Asia at the top of the pile producing over 24 million tonnes of waste to the total of 53.6 million tonnes.
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