Report condemns lobbying by electronics industry to create loophole in intl. law allowing European countries to export toxic electronic waste

Author: Sandra Laville, The Guardian, Published on: 11 February 2019

"UK worst offender in Europe for electronic waste exports – report", 7 Feb 2019

The UK is the worst offender in Europe for illegally exporting toxic electronic waste to developing countries, according to a two-year investigation that tracked shipments from 10 European countries... 

Electronic waste is deemed a hazardous waste by the EU due to toxic parts containing substances such as mercury, lead and flame retardants. Exports of this type of waste to non-OECD and non-EU countries are illegal under EU law...

The report said that due to the lack of proper waste management in the recipient developing countries, including open burning of e-waste, there was likely to be local contamination of crops and threats to humans from the illegal exports...

[It] condemned lobbying by the electronics manufacturing industry, which is attempting to create a loophole in the Basel convention to allow broken, low value electronic scrap to flow from Europe on the grounds that it will be “repaired” in developing countries...

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