Global – Hazardous waste watchdog Basel Action Network (BAN) has released a report based on a two-year study that involved placing 200 GPS tracking devices into used electronic equipment such as printers and computer monitors, and then watching where they travelled across the globe.
Instead of being recycled locally, 32.5% of these devices were exported overseas on container ships. ‘Most of them went to Asia, and most were traded in likely violation of the laws of the importing countries,’ BAN notes. ‘Of the 149 trackers delivered just to recyclers, 39% of these were exported.’
BAN director Jim Puckett comments: ‘Unfortunately, we are seeing considerable backsliding in the electronics industry today compared to just a few years ago. Toxic e-waste is flowing off our shores every day to substandard operations, harming people and the environment across the globe.’
At the same time, it is added, these exports deprive exporting nations of green jobs and ‘make it difficult for responsible electronics recyclers to compete and survive’.