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Saudi Arabia initiates global initiative to regulate e-waste

The joint initiative between CST and ITU sets the stage for the experimental implementation of regulations in Zimbabwe, Rwanda, and Paraguay.

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October 13 2023
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The Communications, Space, and Technology Commission (CST), Saudi Arabia, has unveiled a landmark global initiative for developing “E-Waste Management Regulations”, in partnership with the International Telecommunication Union (ITU). 
This joint initiative sets the stage for the experimental implementation of regulations in Zimbabwe, Rwanda, and Paraguay. Furthermore, it lays the groundwork for the creation of universally applicable standards and regulations, addressing the global e-waste crisis, which currently amounts to a staggering 54 million tonnes annually. Regrettably, only 17 per cent of this waste is recycled, contributing significantly to a net saving of approximately 15 metric tonnes of CO2 per year. 
The primary objective of this initiative is to bolster the Kingdom's ongoing commitment to spearheading global endeavors in digital sustainability. It seeks to expedite the transition to eco-friendly practices by introducing regulations that promote a circular economy. In addition, the initiative strives to offer innovative solutions for mitigating electronic waste, thereby steering us towards a sustainable digital future. 
The official launch of this pioneering initiative took place on the sidelines of the “Climate Week in the Middle East and North Africa for the year 2023," hosted in Riyadh. The ceremony was attended by H.E. Eng. Haitham Al-Ohali, Vice Minister of Communications and Information Technology, and H.E. Eng. Abdullah Al-Mubaddal, Deputy Governor of the Telco Sector at CST.

The initiative is part of CST and ITU agreement to formulate a set of regulations that promote circular economy, on the sidelines of the Global Symposium for Regulators (GSR-23) which took place in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt. This will pave the way for participation at The UN Climate Change Conference (COP28).