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Country by Country Electronic Waste Study from Forbes.com

Updated: Jun 4, 2019

In February, Niall McCarthy with Forbes.com released a report on “The World’s Worst Electronic Waste Offenders.” They found that in 2016, only 20% of the 44.7 million tons of e-waste in the world was properly recycled.


In terms of environmental impacts and statistics, 78 countries had unregulated federal e-waste legislation and only 22 countries with regulated registration in 2008. By 2018, only 34 countries were left with unregulated legislation and 66 countries had invoked regulated legislation. The life cycle of an iPhone has gone from 4.7 years in 2008 to just 1.5 years in 2018 while a Dell monitor has gone from 7 years to 2.5 years in the same time frame. With such short life cycles, the need for proper electronics recycling standards and e-waste legislation is at an all-time high. For every iPhone that was recycled in 2008, 3 iPhone's are now recycled in 2018 with their reduced life cycles. The same goes for Dell monitors which is almost the same 3:1 ratio.


Pound for pound, the US and China produce the most e-waste per country but when you dig deeper on a per person capita, Norway leads the charge with 28.5 kg per person. The UK is almost 4kg per person behind Norway in 2nd place. The United States ranks 9th with 19.4kg per person of electronic waste per year. China, with over 1.4 billion people ranks 14th with just 5.2kg per person of e-waste. That’s almost a quarter of the e-waste each person in the US yields on a yearly basis and 1/6 of what Norway produces.

For more information and the original article, please visit the Forbes website here >> https://www.forbes.com/sites/niallmccarthy/2019/02/27/the-worlds-worst-electronic-waste-offenders-infographic


Following chart is courtesy of Forbes and Statista.


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