Millions of electronic goods:
and other electronic devices
from old fridges to electric toothbrushes
are being dumped illegally in developing countries.
Why does this happen?
In the 1990s, governments in the 1st world set up ways of ‘recycling electronic waste ‘ Many countries did not cope well with the large amount of e-waste they generated or with the hazards that were caused.
1st world countries began exporting the problem to developing countries where laws to protect workers and the environment are not as strong as in the 1st world.
These electronic goods made up of hundreds of different materials and containing toxic or poisonous substances such as lead, mercury, cadmium, arsenic and flame retardants.
Once in landfill, these toxic materials seep out into the environment, contaminating land, water and the air.
Devices are often dismantled and taken apart in primitive conditions. Those who work at these sites suffer frequent ill health.
Although it is legal to export discarded goods to poor countries if they can be reused or recycled, much is being sent to Africa or Asia under false pretences. Much is falsely classified as ‘second hand’ or ‘used’ good but really these are broken and beyond repair.
What do you think about this?
How can this be improved?
How can YOU help?