HIGH TECH: A SHORT LIFE CYCLE
source: UNEP, ‘E-waste in Asia
and the Pacific’, June 2004,
L. Michaelis, S. Lorek,
‘Consumption and the
Environment in Europe.
Trends and Futures’,
No. 904, 2004.
High tech innovation contributes to e-waste growth…
- Today’s computer industry innovates very rapidly, bringing new technologies and upgrades to market every 2 years.
- Moreover, because of economic growth and technological advances, it's often cheaper and convenient to buy a new electronic product than to upgrade an old one.
- In Europe a personal computer is in use, on average, for 3 years.
- Over 10% of the Asian population owns one or more mobiles, which they replace very frequently. In UK, mobile phones are replaced on average every 18 months. Similar figures could be expected in the near future in Asia too.
- US consumers have, on average, 2 to 3 obsolete computers in their garages, closets or storage spaces. About 3/4 of all computers ever sold in the United States remain stockpiled, awaiting disposal.
- By 2006, some 163,420 computers and televisions will become obsolete in the US every day weighing almost 3,513 tons. Many of these will be destined for landfills, incinerators or hazardous waste exports.
- By 2005, 1 computer is expected to be discarded for every new one put on the market.