The UAE warns about the hazards of electronic waste

UAE officials have warned of increasing health and environmental risks from e-waste following the country’s participation in the recent World Economic Forum.

During the event, a new joint United Nations report revealed that 50 million tonnes of e waste are thrown away around the world every year. The report calls for countries to minimise waste and energy leakage caused by discarded electronics, a problem that experts agree is making the world sicker and adding to environmental degradation.

Highlighting its own initiatives and discussing ways of providing sustainable solutions, the UAE delegation saw Dr Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, minister of climate change and environment, take part in the Closing the Loop on Electronics panel discussion.

“If e-waste continues unabated, its volume is projected to amount to 120 million tonnes annually by 2050,” Dr Al Zeyoudi explained. 

“It’s clear that governments and societies all around the world are progressing in recycling paper, glass and plastic. But our fast-moving digital culture, coupled with increasing wealth and consumer hunger for the latest gadgets, means that we are creating a global problem of electronic waste that too few governments are addressing.”

“The UAE is fully aware of the challenge e-waste poses. Unfortunately, the UAE is one of the highest producers of e-waste in the region. But we are also the most active in creating proper e-waste disposal procedures.”

As part of efforts to divert all municipal solid waste from landfills by 2021, the ministry established the Integrated Waste Management system and has created several laws to streamline the management and disposal of hazardous and non-hazardous waste.

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