Abundance of e-waste is opportunity in disguise

by Sharon Lobo    Jun 24, 2013


Today’s consumers are only interested in the usable lifetime of their devices and rarely concern themselves with its structural value or potential environmental impact. The rapid industrialization and advancements in technology has therefore led to the accumulation of electrical and electronic waste. To further add to the problem, the lack of regulations addressing e-waste has made APAC a global collection center for disposal.

However, the abundance of e-waste creates significant opportunities for businesses. According to a study by Frost & Sullivan, the APAC e-waste recycling market, worth US$1.85 billion in 2012 and is expected to reach US$4.01 billion in 2017.

Though most countries in APAC have not yet established comprehensive regulations on controlling the disposal of e-waste, efforts are being made to study the current state and potential of implementing the right regulatory infrastructure.

As the Asia-Pacific is aiming to raise the standards of general waste management, recycling of e-waste has come into focus.
-Prashanth Kay, Research Analyst - Energy & Environmental, Frost & Sullivan

However, the lack of consumer awareness about the hazards of unprocessed disposal of electrical and electronic products hinders the market. Further, the heavy investments required to recover precious metals from e-waste processing deter companies from enter this market.

In this highly competitive market, it is as common to see companies exit the market as it is to see new entrants. The ones that stay afloat are those that understand the need to increase their technological capabilities to maximize their output from recycling.