Asia is throwing out an increasingly large, dangerous amount of e-waste

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Chinese workers carry discarded outdated CRT (Cathode Ray Tube) TV sets to be recycled at a yard in Neijiang city, southwest Chinas Sichuan province, 2013.
Image: Liu aiguo – Imaginechina

All those old TV screens, smartphones and computer monitors have to go somewhere.

In east and south east Asia, discarded electronics are piling up at an alarming rate. A new report has found that millions of tonnes of e-waste was created over five years in the region with the potential to cause severe health problems.

Looking at 12 countries — Cambodia, China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Province of China, Thailand and Vietnam — the United Nations University study found the amount of e-waste being thrown out in the region between 2010 and 2015 increased by an average of 63 percent.

China, for example, more than doubled its e-waste to 6.7 million tonnes in five years, but Hong Kong, Singapore and Taiwan were the highest per-capita producers of e-waste.

The West shouldn’t feel too smug either. The average per capita…

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