The rapid technological advancement and the increase in user interference capacity of electronic products, has been encouraging consumers to purchase the latest electronic gadgets. This has upraised a huge number of discarded electronic products, or electronic waste (e-waste) globally in the recent years. About two million tons of electronic waste is disposed every year in the U.S. Also, it is estimated that only 10% of the total e-waste in the country is being recycled, which is posing serious threat to the environment.
Electronic waste has been emerging as one of the major threats for the ecosystem, as e-waste contaminates air, soil, and water. E-waste contains highly toxic materials, including mercury, lead, cadmium, arsenic, and other toxic substances.
Based on the type of material processed in electronics recycling, the global Electronic recycling market can be broadly classified as steel, copper, plastic resin, and others (including glass, silver, zinc, aluminum). Based on the various recycling methods, the electronic recycling market can be segmented as glass recycler, metal recycler, plastic recycler, and printed circuit board recycler. The different level of value chain addition in the electronic waste treatment market includes e-waste sources, collection process, waste recycling, and sale of recovered material.
Based on the type of electronic equipment processed, the global electronic recycling market can be broadly bifurcated, as computers, industrial, telecom, consumer electronics, and others.
Rising affordability to consumer electronics products, shorten product life cycle of electronics products, the growing concern of people towards hazardous effect of electronic waste, favorable government, and industry certification in e-waste management are the major drivers for the electronic recycling market. The shortage of skilled workforce in e-waste management, and lack of efficient e-waste recycling technology in the developing countries are hindering the growth of the global electronic recycling market.
Among regions, Europe was the largest electronic recycling market in 2014, followed by North America. The market dominance of Europe can be attributed to the stringent government regulations towards e-waste, coupled with well diversified e-waste management system in the region. The growth in North American electronic recycling market is slightly higher, as compared to Europe; however, Asia-Pacific is the fastest growing electronic recycling market. The surging industrialization and rise in consumer purchasing power, has led to accretion of electronic waste in Asia-Pacific.
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