Electronic waste in Asia grew more than 60% these last five years, particularly in China, Hong Kong, Singapore, Taiwan, South Korea, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Thailand, the Philippines, Cambodia, and in Vietnam, totaling 12.3 million tonnes. The volume of electronic equipment cast off in East and South-East Asia jumped of two-thirds between 2010 and 2015 and continued to overgrow regarding the volume and number of people, according to the ONU studies. The report shows that the quantities are rising faster than the population growth. China alone has more than doubled its production of electronic waste between 2010 and 2015 to 6.7 million tons, with an increase of 107%. The higher rates come from Hong Kong, Singapore, Taiwan. Cambodia,Vietnam and Philippine are the lowest e-waste generators.
According to the ONU report, Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan are ahead in setting up data collection and recycling electronic waste. Hong Kong and Singapore, on their side, do not have specific legislation about electronic waste but instead, governments are working with producers to manage the E-waste through public-private partnerships. The report also warns against the illegal dumping of e-waste. Dismantlers, recyclers, and consumers are often guilty of illegal dumping. The significant and growing activity of unlicensed and often illegal recycling practices is growing up regularly.
These illegal processes are not only dangerous for recyclers, their communities, and the environment, but they are also ineffective because recyclers cannot extract the full value of the E-Waste correctly. Most of the time, these recyclers take the gold, silver, palladium, and copper, found in the circuit boards and wires, and scatter the other parts of the material in the land. They use hazardous chemical processes commonly known as acid baths, and solvents such as sulfuric acid (for copper) or aqua regia (for gold) to extract the noble material and these toxic products release fumes The inhalation and the exposure to these chemicals substances affect the health of the workers directly but also the families who often live and work in the same place, as well as the community living around.