Last November, Japan’s Environment Ministry issued a stark warning: the amount of solar panel waste Japan produces every year will rise from 10,000 to 800,000 tons by 2040, and the nation has no plan for safely disposing of it.
Neither does California, a world leader in deploying solar panels. Only Europe requires solar panel makers to collect and dispose of solar waste at the end of their lives.
All of which begs the question: just how big of a problem is solar waste?
Environmental Progress investigated the problem to see how the problem compared to the much more high-profile issue of nuclear waste.