Here you will find information on studies and initiatives with a global focus. Where there are country specific projects, the text “Click to see information” will be visible.

Report/StudySummaryDocuments including WEEE flows/quantities 48
Practical Experiences with the Basel Convention: Challenges, Good Practice and Ways to Improve Transboundary Movements of E-Waste in Low and Middle Income countriesPREVENT and StEP, 2022: This paper aims to gather practical experiences with the export of waste electrical and electronic equipment and fractions thereof (herein referred to as e-waste) from low and middle income countries to environmentally sound management (ESM) facilities abroad according to the Prior Informed Consent (PIC) notification procedures of the Basel Convention. The paper aims to start a discussion on how to improve implementation and compliance for both recyclers and authorities, so that resources can be freed to tackle illegal traffic of e-waste.
The Circularity Gap Report 2022World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD), 2022: This Circularity Gap Report 2022 will demonstrate—based on five years of analysis and learnings—how the circular economy is a means to cut resource-use and emissions and boost equitable societies.48
Modulated fees for Extended Producer Responsibility schemes (EPR)OECD, 2021: The paper defines a classification for fee modulation (by criteria and methodology) and discusses potential issues and considerations. Advanced fee modulation, using criteria beyond weight or product type, offers many opportunities, but adds complexity to EPR schemes. The paper concludes with key policy insights that can further stimulate this emerging policy approach.
Environment Working Papers No. 184
Author(s): Frithjof Laubinger; Andrew Brown; Maarten Dubois; Peter Börkey.
International e-Waste Management Practice |Country Factsheets from Twelve JurisdictionsSRI, 2021: This report provides a summary overview, in the form of “E-waste Factsheets”, of the e-wastemanagement practices and related legal systems for a total of twelve countries from around the globe (Switzerland, United Kingdom and Northern Ireland, France, Japan, China, Singapore, Ghana, Germany, India, Ireland, Belgium, Australia). These countries were chosen to showcase examples of different types of e-waste management systems and mechanisms from across the world.
Author(s): Deepali Sinha Khetriwal; Grishma Jain.
Recommendations for tackling fires caused by lithium batteries in WEEE- A report of the Batteries Roundtable.WEEE Forum et al., 2021: WEEE Forum, EuRIC, EUCOBAT, EERA, MWE and the WEEEires caused by lithium batteries and e-waste containing lithium batteries. A new report compiles good practices addressed to all actors in the value chain and covering all phases of products’ lifecycle.
Author(s): Herreras-Martínez, L.; Anta, M.; Bountis, R.
The Circularity Gap Report 2021World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD), 2021: The fourth edition of the Circularity Gap Report quantifies the huge synergisLABEX Organisation join forces to counter the occurrence of ftic and transformational power the circular economy holds for the climate mitigation agenda—just in time for this year’s crunch UN summit that will pave our future climate pathways.48
The Circularity Gap Report 2020World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD), 2020: The third edition of the Circularity Gap Report aims to contribute to the emerging evidence base that supports decision-makers in business, politics and civil society with key insights and metrics to guide their action in the most impactful way. From 2020, the Circularity Gap Reporting initiative (CGRi) will also explore how data to inform stakeholder decision-making can best be collected, consolidated and made available globally. 48
Internet Waste: A thought paper for International E-Waste Day 2020ITU and the WEEE Forum, 2020: This thought paper focuses on WEEE derived from wireless infrastructure for mobile Internet connectivity, connected devices and data storage, with examples from mobile networks, the IoT and data centres. It aims to raise awareness about waste from infrastructure that supports connectivity and the need for sustainable WEEE management practices in data centres and the telecommunication industries. The paper also highlights the role of international standards in facilitating the responsible management of WEEE and provides examples of how these standards have been helping countries and the ICT sector minimize WEEE impacts.48
Internet Waste: A thought paper for International E-Waste Day 2020ITU and the WEEE Forum, 2020: This thought paper focuses on WEEE derived from wireless infrastructure for mobile Internet connectivity, connected devices and data storage, with examples from mobile networks, the IoT and data centres. It aims to raise awareness about waste from infrastructure that supports connectivity and the need for sustainable WEEE management practices in data centres and the telecommunication industries. The paper also highlights the role of international standards in facilitating the responsible management of WEEE and provides examples of how these standards have been helping countries and the ICT sector minimize WEEE impacts.48
The Global E-waste Monitor 2020: Quantities, flows, and the circular economy potentialUNU/UNITAR, ITU and ISWA, 2020: The Global E-waste Monitor 2020 introduces the wider public to the global e-waste challenge, explains how the challenge currently fits into international efforts to reach the SDGs, and discusses how to create a circular economy and sustainable societies. In parallel, we encourage decision-makers to increase their activities to measure and monitor e-waste by using and adopting the internationally recognised methodological framework developed by UNU-SCYCLE, in collaboration with the Partnership on Measuring ICT for Development.
Author(s): Forti V.; Baldé C.P.; Kuehr R.; Bel G.
Case Studies and approaches to building partnerships between the informal and the formal sector for sustainable e-waste managementStEP Iniative, 2020: This paper is the result of a review of existing e-waste current informal-formal partnerships models in different countries across the world. The information gathered is based on practical experience, secondary literature research as well as case studies obtained through a survey with Producer Responsibility Organizations and other initiatives. The partnership concept in this document aims to support the achievement of high recycling rates and legislative requirements, under extended producer responsibility (EPR) or other take-back systems in low and middle-income countries.48
Future E-Waste ScenariosStEP, UNU ViE-SCYCLE and UNEP IETC, 2019: This joint publication makes an attempt to look into the future of the e-waste problem in order to initiate policy level discussions on the challenges and opportunities ahead. The paper maps serveral dimensions and provides a snapshopt into future challenges. It looks into what can be anticipated in terms of the use of e-products and how the management of e-waste could evolve.
Author(s): Parajuly, K.; Kuehr, R.;Awasthi, A. K.; Fitzpatrick, C.; Lepawsky, J.; Smith E.; Widmer, R.; Zeng, X.
A New Circular Vision for Electronics - Time for a Global RebootPACE - Platform for Accelerating the Circular Economy, 2019: This report combines data and research from throughout the UN system to make the case for a new vision. Describing and analysing challenges and opportunities, and laying the groundwork for the process of systemic change is just the first step. 48
Understanding Consumer E-Waste Recycling Behavior: Introducing a New Economic Incentive to Increase the Collection RatesSustainability Journal, 2019: This study explores the incentives that have been used to increase consumer collection rates for end-of life electrical and electronic equipment. Based on extensive global literature reviews, the research suggests that implementing an economic incentive based on the electronic bonus card system (EBCS) has several benefits compared to existing incentives.
Sustainability Journal 2019, 11, 265.
Author(s): Tetiana Shevchenko; Kirsi Laitala; Yuriy Danko.
Processing of WEEE plastics | A practical handbookSRI, 2019: The purpose of this document is to provide practical information on how to recognize, process and market different WEEE plastics. It is specially oriented towards recycling companies in developing and emerging economies, where the potential for investments in advanced technologies is usually very limited.
Author(s): Andreas Bill; Arthur Haarman; Heinz Böni; Michael Gasser.
Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) and the Impact of Online SalesOECD, 2019: Extended producer responsibility or product stewardship is a policy approach that aims to increase waste recovery and recycling. This report focuses on free-riding of producers or retailers, which the fast expansion of online sales in recent years has been exacerbating. Online sales are creating new free-riding opportunities as consumers are able to buy more easily from sellers in other countries. These sellers often have no physical, legal entity in the country where the consumer resides, and are not registered with national or local EPR schemes.
OECD Environment Working Papers, No. 142, OECD Publishing, Paris
Author(s): Hilton, M.; Sherrington, C.; McCarthy, A.; and Börkey, P.
Circular consumer electronics: an initial explorationEllen MacArthur Foundation, 2018: This paper provides reflections on what a circular economy approach could look like for the consumer electronics industry. Built on insights from over 40 interviews with leading companies and researchers, the work is based on research supported by Google and undertaken by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation in 2017. The paper focuses on smartphones, laptops, tablets, and smart home devices. It represents a first attempt at a vision for how electronics could fit within a circular economy, and actions by the industry to accelerate the transition.48
WEEE management in a circular economy perspective: an overviewGlobal NEST Journal, 2018: The present work discusses both the current needs and the main challenges regarding WEEE management in a circular economy perspective. WEEE generation trend and composition is provided and the legislative framework for its handling is overviewed to point out future perspectives.
Global NEST Journal, Vol 20, No 4, pp 743-750.
Author(s): Cesaro A.; Marra A.; Kuchta K.; Belgıorno V.; Van Hullebusch E.D.
Assessment and Exploitation of the Inherent Value of Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) for Circular EconomySwansea University, 2018: This thesis examines the value of WEEE, and methods for its exploitation to the benefit of global sustainability. The ‘WEEE problem’ is examined in the context of global sustainability, considering environmental & resource efficiency implications and linear resources use by the electrical & electronic equipment (EEE) industry. Solutions are considered which exploit WEEE as an ‘urban mine’ and embrace circular economy.
Author(s): Rhys G. Charles.
E-waste statistics - Guidelines on classification reporting and indicators. 2nd edition United Nations University, ViE – SCYCLE, 2018: The guidelines have been developed and prepared by the Sustainable Cycles (SCYCLE) Programme of the United Nations University to support countries in their efforts to collect and disseminate information on e-waste statistics, based on internationally approved definitions and standards. The guidelines also give methods, country examples, and information to an open source script that helps countries to make their own estimates if no data is available. In addition to the full measuring framework, minimum requirements are proposed to collect and report on e-waste statistics for countries that are embarking on this type of data gathering for the first time.48
The Global E-waste Monitor 2017
Quantities, Flows, and Resources
UNU, ITU and ISWA, 2017: This 2017 edition of the Global E-waste Monitor informs policy makers, industries, and businesses to enhance the understanding and interpretation of global e-waste data, thus communicating the data to the general public and relevant stakeholders. This report provides the most comprehensive overview of global e-waste statistics.
Author(s): Baldé, C.P.; Forti V.; Gray, V.; Kuehr, R.; Stegmann, P.
Operation 30 Days of Action Final ReportINTERPOL Environmental Security Programme (ENS) and Pollution Crime Working Group (PCWG), 2017: Final report of the Operation 30 Days of Action, a globally-coordinated, country-led enforcement operation tackling illegal disposal of and illicit trade in hazardous waste. With police, customs, border and environmental agencies from 43 countries worldwide, the Operation 30 Days of Action is the largest global law enforcement operation ever conducted against waste crimes, in terms of scope, international participation and outcomes.48
Operation 30 Days of Action Key Findings INTERPOL Environmental Security Programme (ENS) and Pollution Crime Working Group (PCWG), 2017: This report summarises the Key findings of the Operation 30 Days of Action, a globally-coordinated, country-led enforcement operation tackling illegal disposal of and illicit trade in hazardous waste. With police, customs, border and environmental agencies from 43 countries worldwide, the Operation 30 Days of Action is the largest global law enforcement operation ever conducted against waste crimes, in terms of scope, international participation and outcomes. 48
2017 Illicit trade reportWorld Custom Organisation (WCO), 2017: An annual publication in which the Organization tries to quantify and map the situation concerning illicit markets in the following six key areas: Cultural Heritage; Drugs; Environment; IPR, Health and Safety; Revenue; and Security. This Report wishes to make a contribution towards building knowledge on illicit trade as well as to provide an overview of the Customs community’s efforts to secure global trade.
Green economy and the reverse logistics of waste electrical and electronic equipmentIndependent Journal of Management & Production (IJM&P), 2016: The focus of the study is given to the management of WEEE, particularly in the reverse logistics of WEEE as a potential tool for economic growth maintenance condition with sustainability. A diagnosis on the use of reverse logistics of WEEE in the world is also presented based on research conducted in countries on five continents.
Independent Journal of Management & Production, v. 7, n. 1.
Authors: Fernando Marins; Marcus Araujo.
Guiding Principles to Develop E-waste Management Systems and LegislationStEP Initiative-UNU, White Paper, 2016: The following guiding principles resulted from the compilation of a SWOT analysis of 13 existing e-waste management systems and pieces of legislation enacted in various regions of the world and are intended to provide guidance to all stakeholders in developing countries developing solutions for e-waste management.
Methodological Guide for the development of inventories of hazardous wastes and other wastes under the Basel ConventionBasel Convention, 2016: The main objective of the guide is to assist parties where no statistical data are collected for the purpose of fulfilling their reporting obligations under the Basel Convention, as regards national inventories of hazardous wastes and other wastes. This guide focuses on the actions required to develop national information systems that produce the information needed to fulfill national reporting obligations.
Strategic Report: Environment, Peace and Security – A Convergence of ThreatsINTERPOL&UNEP, 2016: This report summarizes some of the key areas in which INTERPOL and UN Environment are developing their strategies and activities to counter environmental crime – a collective term describing any illegal activity carried out by a criminal entity to generate profits, which results in harm to our ecosystem, by damaging environmental quality, hastening biodiversity loss, and depleting natural resources.
Waste Crime - Waste Risks: Gaps in Meeting the Global Waste ChallengeGRID - Arendal - UNEP, 2015: The current publication is based on the latest research findings, and involvement from practitioners such as the formal waste sector, inspectors, law enforcement officers and prosecutors. It provides insight into the possible scale and features of the main drivers, along with case studies. It is not an exhaustive or fully comprehensive overview, but it intends to identify major areas of policy deficits and challenges that require further investigation, policy action and intervention for prevention and damage control, as well as to identify opportunities.48
Extended Producer Responsibility - Updated guidance for efficient resource managementOECD, 2016: In its first part the report provides updated Guidance on Extended Producer Responsibilities (EPRs) building on the 2001 Manual and in view of the developments and lessons learnt since then. In the second part, the report brings together four selected challenges within EPR and examines them in greater detail.
Dismantling Guide for IT - EquipmentSustainable Recycling Industries (SRI), 2015: The present guidebook describes and illustrates how IT appliances can be recycled through manual dismantling. It contains required tools, required steps for dismantling of the selected IT-appliances and output fractions produced.
Author(s): Mathias Schluep; Markus Spitzbart; Fabian Blaser.
Some pervasive challenges to sustainability by design of electronic products – a conceptual discussionJournal of Cleaner Production, 2015: This study examined some pervasive challenges to sustainability by design of electronic products, namely: (i) product and consumption redundancies; (i) embodied environmental and social impacts occurring distant in time and space from the point of consumption; and (iii) production and consumption dynamics. This analysis identified essential developments to assist design practice in preventing unintended environmental consequences: (1) complementing life cycle assessment studies; and (2) exploiting the vital role of product design in fostering a circular economy.
Journal of Cleaner Production, Volume 108, Part A, 1 December 2015, Pages 281-288.
Author(s): Rafael Laurenti; Rajib Sinha; Jagdeep Singh; Björn Frostell.
Countering WEEE Illegal Trade (CWIT) Summary Report: Market Assessment, Legal Analysis, Crime Analysis and Recommendations RoadmapConsortium of the CWIT project, 2015: Final report summarising the findings of the FP7 funded project "Countering WEEE Illegal Trade". A set of 16 clusters of recommendations was tailored for each of the relevant stakeholder groups, illustrating the time needed to implement them and connected general support measures, support policies and law enforcement infrastructure development, as well as the actors that are primarily involved.
Consortium: Compliance & Risks, Cross-border Research Association, INTERPOL, UN Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute (UNICRI), UNUniversity (UNU), WEEE Forum, and Zanasi & Partners.
An in-depth literature review of the waste electrical and electronic equipment context: Trends and evolutionSage journals, Waste Management & Research, 2014: The aim of this paper is to define and analyse the main areas of research on WEEE by offering a broader analysis of the relevant literature in this field published between 1992 and August 2014. The literature researched comprises 307 articles, which are analysed according to the topic they focus on (WEEE management, WEEE generation, WEEE characterisation, social aspects of WEEE, re-use of EEE or economic aspects of WEEE). In addition, a deeper analysis is also presented, which takes into account the temporal evolution (globally and by topic), location of the study, categories and subcategories analysed, etc.
Author(s): Pérez-Belis, V.; Bovea, MD.; Ibáñez-Forés, V.
An Analysis of the Crime of Bribery of Foreign Public Officials - OECD Foreign Bribery Report.OECD, 2014: This report endeavours to measure, and describe, transnational corruption based on data from the 427 foreign bribery cases that have been concluded since the entry into force of the OECD Anti-Bribery Convention in 1999.
The Global E-Waste Monitor 2014 - Quantities, flows and resourcesUNU - IAS, 2014: This monitor aims to present the first comprehensive assessment of e-waste volumes, their corresponding impacts and management status on a global scale. This is measured using an internationally-adopted measuring framework that has been developed by the Partnership on Measuring ICT for Development (Baldé et al., 2015). The methodology calculates the amount of e-waste generated from harmonised modelling steps and data sources. The outcomes show an unprecedented level of accuracy and harmonisation across countries and are very useful for international benchmarking.48
The changing geography of global trade in electronic discards: time to rethink the e-waste problemThe Geographical Journal by Josh Lepawsky, 2014: This paper provides a synopsis of the changing geography of global trade in electronic waste over time using data available from the United Nations COMTRADE database. It quantifies the magnitude and direction of this trade between 206 territories in over 9400 reported trade transactions between 1996 and 2012.48
Overview of the Challenges and Needs of Parties and Various Stakeholders in Preventing and Combating Illegal Traffic in Line with the Requirements of the Basel ConventionBasel Convention Secretariat - ENFORCE project, 2014: Members of the Environmental Network for Optimizing Regulatory Compliance on Illegal Traffic (ENFORCE) will focus their activities on undertaking capacity-building activities to prevent and combat illegal traffic. This report, prepared by Nancy Isarin of SBC, is a gap analysis towards completing a road map of activities. Two questionnaires were developed to determine capacity building activities to prevent and combat illegal traffic of hazardous wastes and these were addressed to Parties of the Basel Convention, international organisations, Basel Convention Regional Centres and other entities that are members of ENFORCE.48
World e-Waste Map reveals National Volumes International FlowStEP Initiative-UNU, 2013: The escalating global e-waste problem is graphically portrayed in a first-of-its-kind StEP E-Waste World Map. The map was launched coincident with a complementary new StEP report characterizing US domestic and transboundary flows of used electronics no longer residing in households. The interactive map resource presenting comparable annual data from 184 countries shows the estimated amount of electrical and electronic equipment (EEE — anything with a battery or a cord) put on the market and how much resulting e-waste is eventually generated (i.e. comes out of use or post-use storage destined for collection by a recycling company or disposal).
Emerging Crimes that have an effect on the environments: scope trends and links to corruption and organized crimeHEUNI/UNCPCJ, 2013: Presentation summarizing the report by Matti Joutsen. Corporate crime link to corruption and organized criminal groups offenders' organisation.
Waste Trafficking  Challenges and Actions to be takenISWA, 2013: The lack of proper coordination and allocation of resources between different national authorities are the main bottlenecks to effective and efficient enforcement of the regulations on trans-frontier shipments of waste. Furthermore, effective collection, use and exchange of information and intelligence are essential for better and more effective enforcement, but delivering the intelligence material needed constitutes a large challenge since it demands transnational and cross-organisational cooperation.
Author(s): Björn Appelqvist.
Available via subscription.
A Waste of Effort? International Environmental Agreements and TradeNational Bureau of Economic Research (NBER), 2013: Legislation with a focus on Basel Convention & its consequences (no reduction in waste trade but when countries also ratified the Ban Amendment waste trade effectively reduce). The authors use statistical data to check the relationship between the volume of waste shipment between countries and the ratification of Basel Ban. Includes figures on the amount of annual waste import in countries.
Author(s): Derek Kellenberg; Arik Levinson.
Transboundary Movement of Discarded Electrical and Electronic Equipment StEP Initiative - Green Paper, 2013: Building on primary archival and ethnographic research, as well as secondary sources such as recent studies and reports on global flows, this green paper describes, quantifies and analyzes the global trajectory of dis-carded electrical and electronic equipment. In addition, the paper reviews the key international, regional and national regulations and guidelines that govern the transboundary flows of this material stream. Finally, the paper describes and analyzes the drivers of export, as well as the various loopholes and leakages that facilitate the global flow of used and end-of-life electronics, frequently referred to as WEEE (waste electrical and electronic equipment) or “e-waste”.
Equivalent conditions for waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) recycling operations taking place outside the European Union.
European Commission – DG Environment, 2013: The main purpose of the study is to lay the basis for delegated act(s) to be adopted by the Commission under Article 10(3) of the new WEEE Directive regarding what is considered to be “equivalent treatment conditions” for WEEE treated outside the EU. To this end, the objectives of this study are as follows: Identify different options via which the ‘‘equivalent treatment conditions’’ of Article 10(2) could be supplemented; Analyse the appropriateness and adequacy of those different options; and Provide recommendations as to the best possible policy option(s), based on the analysis carried out.48
E-Waste Assessment Methodology Training & Reference ManualEMPA Materials Science & Technology, 2012: "Methodology developed to carry out the country assessments in the E-waste Africa project. "In order to define a strategy and implement the most suitable e-waste management system, it is necessary to understand the framework con-ditions on local, national or regional level. An e-waste country assessment, as proposed with this methodolo-gy allows acquiring a detailed knowledge of the current situation in a comprehensive approach."