With the problem of electronic waste (e-waste) growing worldwide, the use of different terms and definitions can cause significant problems. UNU-IAS experts have contributed to a new White Paper which addresses these inconsistencies, establishing a common definition and context for the terms “e-waste” and “electrical and electronic equipment” (EEE).
The five-page paper also provides definitions for the various phases through which e-waste travels along its lifecycle, exploring in detail the point at which EEE becomes e-waste. The official definition for e-waste proposed in the paper is as follows: “E-waste is a term used to cover items of all types of electrical and electronic equipment (EEE) and its parts that have been discarded by the owner as waste without the intention of re-use”.
As a StEP White Paper, this definition is endorsed by all member organizations of the StEP Initiative. It is not, however, an official document developed or endorsed by the Secretariat of the Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and Their Disposal, or the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), which are both StEP members.