Investigation Cites Illegal E-Waste Exports from Europe

Author:Suny Group

The Basel Action Network (BAN) published its latest report on investigation involving GPS Trackers. The report titled “Holes in the Circular Economy-WEEE Leakage from Europe’ highlights instances of illegal e-waste exports from various countries in the European region.

As part of the study, the BAN deployed a total of 314 GPS trackers into used electronic equipment at recycling destinations in as many as ten countries in the EU region. These deployments were made during April and September of 2017.

The study revealed that 19 out of the 314 tracked electronic units were actually exported from the countries in which they were deployed. Of the 19 exported units, 11 of them were exported to developing nations, in violation of the hazardous waste laws.

The UK exported 5 units, followed by Denmark and Ireland with 3 each. Much of the exported waste ended up in African countries. The region received 7 exported units out of the total 19. Among African countries, Nigeria topped with receipt of 5 devices, followed by Ghana and Tanzania with one each. The other developing countries to which the devices were illegally exported include Romania, Ukraine, Pakistan, Thailand and Hong Kong. Also, Hungary emerged as the only country not to reveal any illegal e-waste exports.

The exportation rate of 6% in Europe is far less than the 40% rate recorded by the U.S. two years before, said BAN. However, the extrapolation of the EU rate suggests that as much as 421,603 tonnes of WEEE are exported illegally from the region every year.