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
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 WEEELABEX Organisation join forces to counter the occurrence of fires 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.
Survey results from the WEEE management chain – part A, a WEEE Forum and EuRIC report. WEEE Forum et al., 2020: Report presenting the results of the first part of a survey designed at EU scale to better understand the issue of fires in the WEEE management chain and collect good practices. Prepared by EuRIC and the WEEE Forum with the active contribution of various organisations namely EERA, EUCOBAT, Municipal Waste Europe, ecosystem, and the WEEELABEX Organisation, the report tries to better characterize fires associated with WEEE containing batteries and assess the severity of the issue.
Author(s): Ollion, L.; Anta, M.; Herreras, L..
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
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.
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
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". With a multi-faceted insight into the current situation, a set of 16 clusters of recommendations was tailored for each of the relevant stakeholder groups, illustrating the time needed to implement these, recommendations 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.
ENFORCE: The Environmental Network for Optimizing Regulatory Compliance on Illegal Traffic Basel Convention, 2014: Aims to promote parties’ compliance with the provisions of the Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal pertaining to preventing and combating illegal traffic in hazardous wastes and other wastes through the better implementation and enforcement of national law.
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.
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.
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
Characterizing Transboundary Flows of Used Electronics.
Summary Report January 2012
StEP Initiative, 2012: The objective of this workshop was to bring these stakeholders together to assess existing work characterizing transboundary flows of used electronics all over the world and to chart a path forward for collaborative data collection and characterization efforts. The ultimate goal is to bring a scientific and balanced perspective to the issue of transboundary flows of used electronics. This report provides a comprehensive summary of the existing method to qualitatively and quantitatively assess the export of e-waste out of the USA.
Basel Convention Instruction manual on the prosecution of illegal traffic of hazardous wastes or other wastesBasel Convention Secretariat, 2012: Definition of illegal traffic and what shall be done if an illegal traffic is discovered under the Basel Convention. Examples of national legislation translating the provisions. Examples of national penalties. How to prosecute a case (penal, civil or administrative) whom collect evidences cooperation sentencing. Examples of cases of illegal traffic.
The global impact of e-waste: addressing the challengeInternational Labour Office, ILO, 2012: This report explores the volumes, sources, and flows of e-waste, the risks it poses to e-waste workers and the environment, occupational safety and health issues, labour issues and regulatory frameworks, and links this growing global problem with the International Labour Organization’s current and future work.
Author(s): Karin Lundgren, Programme on Safety and Health at Work and the Environment (SafeWork), Sectoral Activities Department (SECTOR), ILO.
Second International Hazardous Waste Inspection project at seaports: results and reccomendations INECE, 2012: report on international good practices for environmental inspections at seaports. The result is an improved understanding of needs and constraints of responsible officials as well as a stronger picture of type of waste, modus operandi, and routes that are being used to traffic illegal shipments of hazardous waste.
EWAM ToolKit
Proceedings from the 2012 GeSI & StEP E-waste Academy Managers Edition (EWAM)
StEP Initiative-UNU, 2012: A closer look into E-waste Management and System Design. There are numerous, extensive manuals and guidelines existing on e-waste management – developed by Agencies of the UN, national governments, research institutes, consulting companies et al – most of them characterized by the same lengthy, text-driven structure. With this EWAM Tool-Kit, users will have access to the proceedings of the entire 2012 E-waste Academy – Managers Edition, which can offer an easy-to-navigate compendium of the fundamental e-waste elements to consider when looking into the complexity of e-waste and ho a life cycle perspective and systems thinking contribute to effective e-waste solutions.
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."
Digest of organized crime cases with commentaries. UNODC & INTERPOL, 2012: Digest of organized crime cases. A compilation of cases with commentaries and lessons learned. Few pages on environmental crime (particularly illicit logging): methods to obtain official authorizations corruption false authorization of waste.
Environmental crime and corruptionU4 Anti-corruption Research Centre, 2012: Includes description of actors (criminal and OC groups); crime associated (money laundering, arms trade activities) and corruption data.48
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.