GENEVA, June 4 (Xinhua) -- The Global E-waste Statistics Partnership on Tuesday launched globalewaste.org, an open source portal that visualizes e-waste data and statistics globally, by region and by country, for policymakers, industry, academia and the public.
Discarded equipment, such as phones, laptops, fridges, sensors, and TVs, are referred to as e-waste.
"E-waste contains substances that pose considerable environmental and health risks, especially if treated inadequately," said the partnership of which the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) is a founding member.
"Reliable and official data and statistics on e-waste provide the foundation for sound e-waste legislation and management at the national level," said Houlin Zhao, ITU Secretary-General.
The partnership also said that e-waste presents an opportunity worth over 62.5 billion U.S. dollars a year if treated through appropriate recycling chains and methods, with the potential of creating millions of decent new jobs worldwide.
On globalewaste.org, users can access e-waste data from Global and Regional E-waste Monitors for most countries on the planet. Data include the amount of e-waste generated in total and per capita and discarded before any collection, reuse, treatment, or export.
It also includes the amount of e-waste formally collected in total and per capita and regulated by environmental protection laws designed explicitly for e-waste, and e-waste legislation by country where applicable.
To date, 41 countries report compiling comparable national statistics on e-waste, said the ITU.
"Better e-waste data will help track progress towards global ITU e-waste targets that Member States have set for 2023," said Zhao, adding the new portal is a vital step towards addressing the e-waste challenge.
David Malone, UN Under-Secretary-General and Rector of the United Nations University, said: "Our research and advocacy on sustainable e-waste practices are helping place this issue on the global political agenda, but more action is needed to stem the ever-increasing tide of e-waste."
The Global E-waste Statistics Partnership comprises ITU, the United Nations University (UNU) and the International Solid Waste Association (ISWA).