Toys produce far more electronic waste than vapes

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Toys are a much larger contributor to electronic waste than vapes, according to an analysis by the United Nations.

In advance of International E-Waste Day on 14 October, the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) Forum collaborated with the United Nations Institute for Training and Research to quantify how much electronic waste the world disposes of without realising it has the potential to be recycled.

In all, 9 billion kilograms of so-called “invisible” e-waste is thrown away every year, worth nearly $10 billion, according to the analysis. Around one-third of this waste comes from children’s toys containing hidden electronics, some 3.2 billion kilograms. Toys contribute 77 times more to the world’s invisible e-waste than vapes, which account for 42 million kilograms a year. The UN estimates that 844 million vapes are thrown away every year.

“Electronic waste is our fastest growing waste stream,” says Oliver Franklin-Wallis, the author of Wasteland, a book on waste disposal. “It’s also by far our most valuable waste stream, when it comes to household waste.”

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