The Emergence of Electronic Waste Management

Electronic waste is referred to all the electronic equipment that has served its purpose and may contain materials like circuit boards or chips which can be used again. Televisions, modern computers, and their components, home appliances, and lab electronic equipment among others fall under this category. The electronic waste consists of plastics, metals, cables, and other toxic substances like liquid crystal, mercury, lithium, barium, and nickel, among others. These toxic substances possess a threat to the environment even in minute quantities.  However, the high cost for recycling incurred due to lack of awareness is expected to restrain the growth of the market in the coming years.

In the last one-decade information technology and communication, the industry has increased the adoption of electronic components significantly. Quicker up-gradation and availability of updates in electronic products are forcing customers to discard their existing or old electronic products which are leading to an increase in e-waste. Today consumers tend to switch over to the new models with a small period of time which has increased the life of the product thus propelling the electronic waste management market growth during the forecast period. According to the United Nations estimates globally nearly forty-six million tons of e-waste was generated in 2014. With increasing population growth and rapid urbanization, the annual electronic waste generation is expected to increase significantly in the coming years.

Besides, on account of the affordability of various consumer electronic devices, consumers are keenly interested in trying new brands with novel and innovative features and with the introduction of advanced technologies is further contributing to faster communication and providing an impetus in surging the growth prospects of sale of these mobile devices. For instance, according to the United Nations, in 2017, it was estimated that the mobile-based subscriptions at the global level reached nearly 4.3 billion.

Advancement in the Smartphones Industry

In smart phones industry latest technology such as wireless charging is continuing to grow in popularity and in the last few years the market witnesses increasing demand for wireless charging for smartphones. The increasing number of product launches by big market players to cater to the growing demand increases the competition in the market which is anticipated to drive the growth of the market for smart phones segment during the forecast period. For instance, recently Samsung launches its Fast Wireless Charging 2.0 which offers a convenient way to charging a smart phone. In addition, the increasing launch of technologically advance new smartphones is expected to deliver rapid growth and business opportunities in electronic waste management as with new products consumers will prefer to dispose of the existing or the old products.

electronic waste management market

Expanding the consumer electronic industry and increasing the integration of new integrated technology in a variety of electronics and electrical devices is expected to drive the market during the forecast period. In addition, increasing and expanding internet retailing as one of the biggest distribution channels is expected to boost up the sales for consumer electronics which will further anticipate the demand for electronic waste management systems in the coming years. For instance, according to the Census Bureau of the Department of Commerce, retail sales in the United States have increased by nearly 5.33 percent in 2018. Increasing demand for slimmer smartphones with advanced camera facilities will lead to increased investment in research and development of innovative waste management solutions.

Advance systems like electronic security systems are the equipment that could perform security operations like surveillance, alarming, or access control among many others, and are broadly utilized within corporate workplaces, shopping centers, government premises, etc. Smart city technologies are increasingly being used to improve public safety and increasing investment towards converting cities into smart cities is expected to be one of the drivers for the growth of the electronic-waste management market during the forecast period. In the developing and emerging economies like India, there is an increasing government investment to increase the number of smart cities which will further increase the demand for electronic waste management systems during the forecast period. For instance, the Smart City Mission that will cover nearly 100 cities in the country receives nearly Rupees one lakh crore of government/ULB funds for the smart cities’ development.

The Asia Pacific Is Holding a Significant Share in the Market

Expanding the telecom industry coupled with increasing demand for energy-efficient solutions is expected to be one of the prime drivers for the growth of the market during the forecast period. In fact, according to the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology of China, the telecom sector revenue increased by nearly three percent year on year to 1.3 trillion Yuan in 2018. In addition, the growing adoption of home automation systems is anticipated to provide ample opportunities for e-waste management service providers over the forecast period. Furthermore, rising household expenditure coupled with increasing demand for portable healthcare devices consumer electronics is expected to attract market players to invest in the country in order to cater to the growing consumer base which is further expected to propel the growth of the market in the coming years. For instance, according to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, household spending in China has increased from USD 4249.188 billion in 2010 to USD 8,423.258 billion in 2018.

China Household Spending, 2010 to 2018, US$ Billion

electronic waste management market

Source: Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, Knowledge Sourcing Intelligence Analysis

Key strategies and area of focus made by the government and other regulatory authorities in various parts of the world to minimize the impact of solid waste management are as follow:

Infrastructure: Providing capital investments to build or upgrade waste sorting and treatment facilities, construct or refurbish landfills, and provide basic instruments like dumpsters, bins, and trucks.

Legal: Framing a legal structure to advise on sound policy measures and coordinated institutions for the waste management sector which will include electronic waste management also.

Awareness/Knowledge: Behaviour change and public participation is key to a function of the electronic waste management policy. The policy should be framed in such a way that it supports designing incentives and awareness systems and motivate them to adopt new management systems.