The age of rapid technological advancement comes with its pitfalls, one of the most significant being E-waste. This term, commonly used for electronic items that are no longer needed or functional, encompasses everything from obsolete fax machines to smartphones. These devices contain precious metals and components that can be detrimental to our environment when not disposed of properly.
Australia’s Growing Concern
In Australia, millions of electronic devices are thrown away each year. This makes e-waste one of the fastest-growing segments of our nation’s waste stream. Our increasing dependence on electronics, combined with the rapid pace of tech innovation and short device lifecycles, creates a surge in discarded items.
A Global Perspective
The Global E-Waste Monitor’s report from 2020 paints a stark picture: e-waste volumes have surged by 21% in just five years up to 2019. If current trends continue, by 2030, our global e-waste will nearly double the figures from 2014. This growth is spurred on by increased consumption, the limited lifespan of devices, and the lack of easy repair options.