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Resource Efficiency

E-waste to reach 65.4 million tonnes annually by 2017 according to StEP


E-waste is a term used to cover almost all types of electrical and electronic equipment (EEE) that has or could enter the waste stream. A map giving an estimate of e-waste around the globe was published recently by the Solving the E-Waste Problem (StEP) Initiative. According to the map, 48.9 million tonnes of e-waste was produced last year, the equivalent of 7 kg per person. StEP predicts that this will increase by 33% by 2017, reaching 65.4 million tonnes, equivalent to the weight of 200 Empire State Buildings or 11 Great Pyramids of Giza. Read more…

StEP is a partnership between United Nations (UN) organisations, industry, scientists, government and non-governmental organisations. It aims to promote sustainable e-waste handling through different projects. The StEP map, which provides country-level data on the amount of EEE put on the market annually and the resulting amount of e-waste, was launched along with a complementary report on the United States of America’s(USA) domestic and transboundary flows of used electronics.

In 2012, China and the USA were found to be the biggest contributors to global e-waste generation. However, the amount of e-waste generated annually per person differed significantly between the two countries. Each person in the USA was responsible for an average 29.8 kg while China’s per capita generation was as low as 5.4 kg. StEP recommends a number of actions to ensure better handling of e-waste, including improved access to shipment data, trade codes to enable tracking and better reporting of export destinations.

The StEP Initiative invites organisations, individuals and businesses to submit additional relevant data to help improve the accuracy of the E-Waste World Map. Submissions must be accompanied by a description of how the information has been generated. For information on how to submit data, please contact the StEP Initiative at

Find more info:

Press release

StEP E-waste WorldMap

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