E-waste: a problem or an opportunity? Review of issues, challenges and solutions in Asian countries
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Safe management of electronic and electrical waste (e-waste/WEEE) is becoming a major problem for many countries around the world. In particular, developing countries face a number of issues with the generation, transboundary movement and management of e-waste. It is estimated that the world generates around 20-50 million tonnes of e-waste annually, most of it from Asian countries. Improper handling of e-waste can cause harm to the environment and human health because of its toxic components. Several countries around the world are now struggling to deal with this emerging threat. Although the current emphasis is on end-of-life management of e-waste activities, such as reuse, servicing, remanufacturing, recycling and disposal, upstream reduction of e-waste generation through green design and cleaner production is gaining much attention. Environmentally sound management (ESM) of e-waste in developing countries is absent or very limited. Transboundary movement of e-waste is a major issue throughout the region. Dealing with the informal recycling sector is a complex social and environmental issue. There are significant numbers of such challenges faced by these countries in achieving ESM of e-waste. This article aims to present a review of challenges and issues faced by Asian countries in managing their e-waste in a sustainable way.
Waste Management and Research
Copyright 2012 The Authors. This is the author-manuscript version of the paper. Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. Please refer to the journal's website for access to the definitive, published version.
Environmental Engineering not elsewhere classified