Chart of the Week May 6, 2022: Generation of E-Waste and Rising GDP per Capita in the ASEAN-6 and its East Asian Partners, 2014-2019

Click for enlarged image | Graphic by GE Yixuan


Rising affluence in regional economies is linked with greater purchasing power – however, the downside is the creation of more waste. Over 24.9 million metric tonnes of E-Waste were generated across Asia in 2019, much of which came from countries with higher GDP per capita. Furthermore, increases in GDP per capita led to a rise in E-Waste generation across all the regional economies.

But growth doesn’t have to be at odds with sustainability. Singapore, for example, introduced an Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) scheme for e-Waste in 2021. The island state only recycled 6% of the 60,000 tonnes of E-Waste it generated from 2016-2017, but the Singapore government aims to collect 20-60% of the amount of equipment that producers supply to the market, depending on the appliance.


  • Asia generated over 24.9 million metric tonnes of E-Waste in 2019, constituting nearly half of 53.6 million tonnes generated worldwide that year.
  • Even countries with relatively lower GDP per capita, such as Indonesia, experienced a noticeable increase in annual E-Waste generation as GDP per capita increased.
  • Singapore only recycled 6% of the 60,000 tonnes of E-Waste generated, but aims to increase this proportion to 20-60%.

By CHEN Xian An, Kevin

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