An overview of e-waste management in China


China is one of the largest manufacturers and consumers of electronic products, thus consequently generating a large amount of e-wastes, while the processes of treatment and recycling of e-wastes has resulted in severe adverse environmental and human health impacts in China. Hence, e-waste management in China has aroused widespread concern around the world. In recent years, central and local governments have made great efforts to improve e-waste management in China. New regulations and enterprise cooperation have been encouraged. Considering these developments, an overview is necessary to analyze the current state as well as new possible solutions and challenges regarding e-waste management in China. This study shows that the amount of e-wastes collected and dismantled and the growth rate of five major electronic equipment types from 2000 to 2012 increased sharply. Barriers and suggested solutions related to China’s e-wastes are identified and discussed, followed by policy implications towards improving the overall eco-efficiency of e-wastes.

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This research was supported jointly by National Natural Science Foundation Programs of China (41101126, 71273149, 41261112, 71303230, 71033004, 71325006), Chinese Academy of Sciences (2008-318), Science & Technology Program of Gansu Province (NO: 1304FKCA067), Young Teachers’ Promotion Program of Northwest Normal University (NO: NWNU-LKQN-10-20). We are also grateful for the support from International Climate Protection Fellowship Programme under the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, and the Green Talents Program under German Federal Ministry of Education & Research. Special thanks go to the anonymous reviewers for their valuable and constructive comments.

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Correspondence to Bing Xue.

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Lu, C., Zhang, L., Zhong, Y. et al. An overview of e-waste management in China. J Mater Cycles Waste Manag 17, 1–12 (2015).

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  • Waste electrical and electronic equipment
  • Waste management
  • Circular economy
  • China