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UN’s 4th GEM Report: Global e-waste Generation Rising 5 Times Faster than Recycling

Published on March 26, 2024
Current Context: The United Nations’ fourth Global E-waste Monitor (GEM) report reveals a concerning trend: the world’s generation of electronic waste (e-waste) is rising five times faster than documented e-waste recycling.
UN’s 4th GEM Report: Global e-waste Generation Rising 5 Times Faster than Recycling
  • In 2022, a record 62 million tonnes of e-waste was produced, an 82% increase from 2010.
  • This amount of e-waste would fill 1.55 million 40-tonne trucks, enough to form a line encircling the equator.
  • The annual generation of e-waste is rising by 2.6 million tonnes annually and is projected to reach 82 million tonnes by 2030, a further 33% increase from the 2022 figure.
  • However, less than one quarter (22.3%) of the year’s e-waste mass was documented as having been properly collected and recycled in 2022.
  • This leaves $62 billion worth of recoverable natural resources unaccounted for and increases pollution risks to communities worldwide.
  • E-waste recycling currently meets just 1% of rare earth element demand.
  • The report projects a decline in the documented collection and recycling rate from 22.3% in 2022 to 20% by 2030 due to the widening difference in recycling efforts relative to the staggering growth of e-waste generation worldwide.
  • If countries could bring the e-waste collection and recycling rates to 60% by 2030, the benefits, including minimizing human health risks, would exceed costs by more than $38 billion.

Question:

Q.1 According to the United Nations’ fourth Global E-waste Monitor (GEM) report, how much faster is the world’s generation of electronic waste (e-waste) rising compared to documented e-waste recycling?
a. Twice as fast
b. Three times as fast
c. Four times as fast
d. Five times as fast
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