Europe is far behind in its electronic waste recycling target

By MoneyTimes

Sep 02, 2015 01:54 AM EDT

A study conducted by Interpol and the United Nations said that only 33% of Europe's electronic wastes is correctly recycled. A large number of these electronic wastes include computers, cellphones and televisions that are dumped or traded illegally.

Europe's goal is to recycle 85 percent of its electronic waste and only Norway and Sweden came close to this target. Spain, Romania, and Cyprus were at the bottom of the list recycling only less than 20 percent of its electronic wastes.

It is in European law to recycle electronic wastes or objects that come with a battery or plug. This is a way to prevent toxic chemicals such as mercury and lead to get into the environment as well as recycle metals like silver and gold.

Pascal Leroy, the secretary-general of Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment, said that neither major companies nor crime syndicates are always responsible for electronic waste violations. Usually, it is a collection of small time illegal activities that happen a lot.

This includes small companies and individuals performing illegal activities. This is a major reason behind the difficulty in tackling problems related to electronic wastes or to implement laws regarding such wastes.

Europe is not the only place suffering with electronic waste problems. A study conducted by the UN early this year reported that the U.S. and China are two top offenders for dumping electronics in 2014.

There are also reports talking about electronic wastes of developed countries affecting and polluting underdeveloped countries. However, Leroy contends that most of the e-wastes from Europe stays in and pollutes Europe.

In all Europe, Scandinavia is considered as having the most effective collection programs for e-wastes, Leroy said. Other comparable places include Switzerland and Australia while Italy and France are also improving.

Other European countries, especially in the Eastern, part have unsuccessful e-waste collection programs because of infrastructure issues and that consumers are said to be mindless of the environmental effects of e-wastes.

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