Electronic waste facts


Tons of electronic waste thrown out

Worldwide, this year

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Tons of electronic waste thrown out

Worldwide, this year

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Have you thought about what happens...
with your computer when you throw it out? Get the disturbing electronic waste facts here and get an idea of the devastating effects of e-waste.

Top 5 facts about electronic waste


E-waste is a growing problem

E-waste is the most rapidly growing waste problem in the world. We generate about 40 million tons of it every year. This is equivalent to throwing out 800 laptops every single second. In some places the amount of e-waste increases with 500% in the years to come.


Where does the e-waste go?

A lot of e-waste is shipped to Asia or Africa for “recycling”. This may sound good, but in fact it’s just an easy and cheap way to get rid of the enormous amounts of e-waste we generate. A lot of it is simply burned


E-waste is extremely polluting

The soil of the Chinese e-waste site “Guiyu” record some of the world’s highest concentrations of dioxins and heavy metals. Water contained lead 2,400 times higher than safe levels. Many children work here.


A vicious circle

Villagers cannot grow their own food because the soils are heavily polluted. To survive, they must work in the recycling industry further degrading their health and surrounding environment.


The health effects

Birth defects; damage to central and peripheral nervous systems; distorted blood composition; damaged lungs, livers, and kidneys; and death. Children working in the recycling yards are at much higher risk for damaging their health than adults. Watch the Greenpeace video on e-waste below.

Electronic waste

United Nations estimates that 40 million tons of e-waste are produced every year. The OECD estimates 20-50 million tons a year. We use an estimate of 40 million tons.

E-waste is a growing problem

Where does the e-waste go?

E-waste is extremely polluting

A vicious circle

The health effects

Watch a video

Electronic Waste in Ghana

Ghana is the latest place where Greenpeace has discovered high tech toxic trash causing horrendous pollution. Their analysis of samples taken from two electronic waste (e-waste) scrap yards in Ghana has revealed severe contamination with hazardous chemicals.

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