E-waste or elecrtical and electronic waste is an emerging challenge to waste management in both developed and developing countries: rapid technology innovation and short products lifespan are determining a fast-growing amount of e-waste, which may contain contaminants elements for the environment (such as lead, cadmium, beryllium etc.).
The Global E-Waste Monitor Report estimated that the amount of e-waste globally generated in 2014 was 41.8 millions metric tonnes (Mt), and it is forecasted to increase to 50 Mt in 2018. Contrary to what we might expect, only 7% of the total is composed of ICT devices, while 12.8 Mt of e-waste are due to small equipment as toasters, electric shavers etc. and 11.8 Mt are large equipment such as washing machine, dishwashers etc.
The report also illustrates the state-of-art of e-waste treatment in different countries and can be a usefeull resource to sensitize students on this important topic.