Policy practices for e-waste management
According to the Global E-waste Monitor 2020, approximately 53.6 million tonnes of e-waste was generated in 2019, affecting human health, the climate and the economy. Africa alone generates 2.9 million tonnes of e-waste every year, yet only 1% is formally documented to be collected or recycled.
Some $3.2 billion USD of raw materials are contained in e-waste generated in Africa. A huge amount of economic value is lost, and a cost is incurred for both the environment and society. There are currently 13 countries in Africa covered by an e-waste policy, legislation or regulation.
Effective policy and regulation results in an effective e-waste management system. To help this process, the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and the World Economic Forum with financial support from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Denmark, Danida, have prepared a toolkit: Policy Practices for E-waste Management.
Drawing on experiences from developing countries and emerging markets, particularly from African countries, the toolkit provides governments with a guide that outlines the system requirements for the management of e-waste. The toolkit considers the need for an all-actors approach and for the fair, inclusive and timely application of the extended producer responsibility principle.
Policymakers are invited to use this toolkit as a pragmatic guide to formulate and strengthen e-waste management systems. The toolkit can be referred to for the entire system or for the individual pillars of business and finance, policy and regulation, technology and skills, monitoring and control, and marketing and awareness. The toolkit is designed to support members of the African Circular Economy Alliance.
The toolkit is used by ITU as part of its technical assistance provided to Member States in the development of national e-waste management policy and regulation. For more information take a look at our brochure.ITU also provides e-learning covering an Introduction to E-waste Policy, accessible via the ITU Academy.