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Global Survey on Electronic Waste Launched

The International Telecommunications Union (ITU), in a partnership with the United Nations University (UNU) and the United Nations Environmental Program (UNEP), has launched a survey on electronic waste. It is in collaboration with an initiative of various United Nations organizations, Solving the E-Waste Problem (StEP), as well as CEDARE (the Centre for Environment and Development for the Arab Region and Europe).

The aim of the survey is to acquire detailed information on the management, policies and standards in regards to electronic waste in order to construct a thorough overview of the electronic waste landscape as it currently stands in the world and then identify future challenges.

The organizations responsible for the survey believe that mapping the electronic waste issue in such a fashion will create a base on which the exchange of information and best practices regarding electronic waste can occur.  Additionally, it will be a vital tool in getting across the seriousness of the situation and promoting further collaborative work in the future management and development of policy regarding electronic waste.

The widespread use of EEE (electrical and electronic equipment), including new and old cell phones, has increased the general public’s awareness of its benefits, but not of the negative consequences on the environment and on human health caused by the improper waste management of such equipment.  Many countries have been the subject of alarming reports about the mismanagement of electronic waste.