Electronic waste or E-waste is referred to all the consumer electronic equipment that has served its purpose. This may contain materials like circuit boards or chips. Additionally, TV, computers, keyboards, kitchen appliances, lab electronic equipment, and broken CRTs fall under this category.
Electronic waste management is necessary as the e-waste contain heavy metals such as cadmium, lead, copper, and chromium that may cause contamination to the environment. Hence, there is a requirement for e-waste management, propelling the market growth. The market is further projected to grow at a significant pace due to the growing consumption of consumer electronics. The Asia Pacific region is projected to account for holding a substantial market share in the global consumer electronics industry, particularly, in the emerging economies of China and India. This is supported by the growing adoption of mobile devices like smartphones, tablets and iPads, further raising strong demand for electronic waste (e-waste) management, contributing to fueling the growth of the electronic waste management market.
Additionally, owing to the affordability of these devices, consumers are keenly interested in trying new brands with novel and innovative features. In addition, the introduction of advanced technologies like 4G and 5G are contributing to faster communication, further providing an impetus in surging the growth prospects of sale of these mobile devices. As per the United Nations, ITU agency, by the end of 2017, it was estimated that the mobile-based subscriptions will reach a figure of 4.3 billion at the global level. In the least developing countries (LDC), the highest growth-rate of mobile broadband subscriptions was recorded between 2012 and 2017. However, mobile subscriptions per 100 inhabitants in LDCs were accounted to remain the lowest, i.e. around 23%.
Source: The United Nations ITU Agency, mobile subscriptions in least developed countries between 2012-2017
Additionally, with the growing global internet penetration rate, the adoption of mobile devices will continue to soar, propagating the market demand. As per the United Nations prediction, the internet-user gender gap has tapered in most of the regions of the world since 2013. However, it was noticed that the internet penetration is still slightly higher in men than women. The internet penetration rate worldwide for men accounted for around 50% share, while for women, it accounted for holding a share of around 44% in 2017. On the other hand, in the Americas region, it was noticed that the proportion of women utilizing internet was higher than men.
Source: The United Nations, global internet penetration rate, by gender, 2017
With new technologies emerging in the market such as smart speakers like Amazon Echo and Google Home, the market is projected to augment. Also, the advent of home automation is further offering an opportunity for the electronic waste management market growth with the adoption of smart home monitoring and security systems. These systems consist of carbon monoxide detectors, smart switches, and smart locks and doorbells among others. The growing trend of energy efficiency and IoT implementation will continue to propel the growth of smart homes, further contributing to surging the market growth. For instance, in order to increase the energy efficiency of a house, blinds are capable of closing automatically by connecting to the home’s tech ecosystem. This will enable the blinds to open and close as per the incoming weather information and the internal temperature. Thus, smart homes offer convenience to residents, this is due to the fact that with connected devices, residents are capable of handling more operations such as lighting and temperature, and hence, this sets a resident free for performing other tasks. Also, with the help of internet, a person is capable of controlling an electrical appliance or appliances in a virtual manner through a web browser. With smart home technologies gaining momentum at present and in the coming years, a huge potential for the market to thrive is being realized.
The current covid-19 scenario has impacted the market growth severely owing to causing an adverse impact on the consumer electronics industry, which is the soul of the e-waste management market. The rapid outbreak of the virus globally has led to delay in the launch of novel electronic devices due to the shut down of the manufacturing operations worldwide. This outbreak brought in a severe crisis in the major economies of the world that include China, the United States, India, Italy, the United Kingdom, Japan, and many other countries. Majority of these nations followed preventive measures like national lockdown, social distancing, work-from-home and self-quarantine initiatives. In many parts of the world, the government advised people and companies to implement work-from-home. This further led to travel restrictions, closure of local businesses and prohibited public gatherings. Due to the spread of novel coronavirus, the manufacturers of electronic products have ceased the further production of novel electronic goods, thus, causing an impact on the market growth as well. This is further going to impact the upcoming production of the new electronic devices, further causing an impact on the business opportunities in electronics manufacturing as vendors are moving to the adoption of remote working. Also, with the closure of brick and mortar retail channels, like supermarkets, and showrooms, the sales of electronic items have affected in an adverse manner.
In order to combat this situation, companies are taking certain initiatives like relocation of the factories for a definite period of time. For example, Samsung, in March 2020, made an announcement regarding the shifting of its smartphone production to Vietnam from the South Korean region as the company’s staff tested positive for coronavirus, leading to temporary closure the factory in Gumi.
Furthermore, with the growing technological advancements, like the wireless earbuds, smartwatches, and other wearables, and drones, the market is projected to fuel in the coming years. The major reason lies in the fact that the consumers are increasingly evolving, in terms of knowledge, income, and their way of performing different tasks that involve the utilization of electronic machines or gadgets. This has further resulted in bringing connectivity in their everyday lives and is providing huge opportunities for the manufacturers to introduce advanced technologies such as artificial intelligence in varied electronic products for smart performance of their e-products. In addition, with continuous improvements in the existing technologies as per the consumers’ demands, the market is poised to grow at an unprecedented rate in the coming years. These devices will require efficient waste management practices providing a minimum impact on the environment.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Vibha Saklani is a Market Research Analyst at KSI, working on the estimates and global reports on multiple industries spanning from IoT to food and beverages, with a special knack for healthcare, medical devices, and related markets. With the addition of her formal education in Biotechnology and having a research background, she is able to shed more light on the detailed analysis of the story. To read more articles by her, and for more information regarding multiple global markets, visit www.knowledge-sourcing.com.