The side event: Tackling E-waste - Towards Sustainable and Responsible Reverse Supply Chains in a Circular Economy for Electronics took place on 6 May 2019 from 18:15 to 19:45 during the Conference of the Parties to the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions.
As outlined in the recent report “A New Circular Vision for Electronics:Time for a Global Reboot
” launched as a collaboration among UN entities, the World Economic Forum and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development; electrical and electronic equipmentmay containup to 60 elements of the periodic table, withmany being technically recoverableonce a product can no longer be used. Some productsandcomponents will be sent back to be reintegrated into production,this is the reverse supply chain. Unlike a forward supply chain, however, the movement and processing of materials are not subsidized by the value of a finished product laden with features. Instead they rely on the value of the raw materials and therefore demand a highly efficient and economical reverse supply chain model,including aspects such as Extended ProducerResponsibility (EPR),which is also essential to achieving a circular economy. At the same time, legislation and policy all together national, regional and global, oversee the associated standards, quality and boundaries, and the movement of materials which make up the reverse supply chain.
THE SIDE EVENT
The side event started with a short high-level panel discussion, which included representatives from the Parties to the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions, United Nations entities of the emerging E-waste Coalition
, which was coordinated by the Secretariat of the Environment Management Group, and representatives from the private sector.
The dialogue focused on how companies and governments could work together to build reverse supply chains that are sustainable, safe and responsible, whilst maximizing progress towards a circular economy for used and end of life information and communications technology, and electrical and electronic equipment. Essential questions such a show to ensure that materials are collected in substantially higher amounts (only app. 20% of the e-waste generated is currently recycled) and managed in healthy and environmentally sound ways have also been discussed.