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How can electronic waste be a valuable treasure of green energy?

19.10.2023 04:19 AM
How can electronic waste be a valuable treasure of green energy?
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How can electronic waste be a valuable treasure of green energy?

The United Nations reported that “annually, consumers throw away or own damaged electronic goods containing $10 billion worth of raw materials necessary for the transition to green energy.”

 Toys, cables, electronic cigarettes, tools, electric toothbrushes, shavers, headphones and other household items contain metals such as lithium, gold, silver and copper.

 It is expected that the demand for these materials will rise due to their important role in environmentally friendly industries that are witnessing steady growth.

 In Europe alone, demand for copper is expected to increase six-fold by 2030 to meet growing needs in sectors including renewable energy, telecommunications, aerospace and defence.

The United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) said in a report Thursday that materials are being wasted because this “invisible” waste is being disposed of rather than recycled.

The institute added that "invisible" electronic waste amounts to nine billion kilograms annually in various parts of the world, and the value of the raw materials it contains amounts to $9.5 billion, that is, about one-sixth of the total electronic waste thrown away in 2019, which amounts to $57 billion.

 More than a third of the “invisible” waste was toys such as racing cars, talking dolls, robots and drones, with 7.3 billion pieces thrown away annually.

The report indicated that the weight of about 844 million smoking devices thrown away each year is equivalent to six times the weight of the Eiffel Tower.

 In Europe, 55 percent of electrical and electronic waste is recycled, but the global average drops to about 17 percent.

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