Future E-Waste Scenarios

Parajuly, K. ; Kuehr, R. ; Awasthi, A. K. ; Fitzpatrick, C. ; Lepawsky, J. ; Smith E. ; Widmer, R. ; Zeng, X. (2019)

UNU-Vie SCYCLE, StEP Initiative, and UNEP IETC have been working on E-Waste issues greatly and initiated an activity to assess the foresight challenges in the E-Waste stream to develop policy-level discussions on the challenges and opportunities ahead. Under the business-as-usual scenario, the amount of E-Waste will be more than doubled by 2050; “The complicated nature of production, use, and disposal of electronics require significant changes in order for the processes to become sustainable”. This paper maps several dimensions of the e-waste problem and provides a snapshot into future challenges. It looks into what we can anticipate into how the use of e-products and management of e-waste could evolve. The goal is to initiate public discussions on these unforeseen challenges and opportunities, in order for the political agendas of governments and businesses to address such issues early on.

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