Should the export of hazardous waste be entirely banned?

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Liz Ferree, Nicole Zapata, Melissa Campagnoli, Ana Perkovic

Thesis

“Consumers need to be less apathetic an pressure companies to decrease the amount of toxic chemicals use in electronics in order to lessen the damaging effects on the environment an people.”

Story of Stuff

According to the U.S Environmental Protection Agency, hazardous waste is “waste with properties that make it dangerous or potentially harmful to human health or the environment. The universe of hazardous wastes is large and diverse. Hazardous wastes can be liquids, solids, contained gases, or sludges. They can be the byproducts of manufacturing processes or simply discarded commercial products, like cleaning fluids or pesticides”.

hazardous waste is a waste that appears on one of the four hazardous wastes lists (F-list, K-list, P-list, or Ulist), or exhibits at least one of four characteristics

— ignitability, corrosivity, reactivity, or toxicity .

Storage

: Often old electronics are stored in people's houses. This only serves to delay the day they are finally discarded and reduces the chances they could be effectively reused.

Landfill/Incineration

: When mixed with domestic waste, electronics will most likely end up in a landfill or incinerated. Both methods allow toxic chemicals to pollute the environment.

Reuse and Export

: Old computers and phones are often exported to developing countries for reuse or recycling. The vast majority are crudely recycled in ewaste scrap yards causing widespread pollution.

India

Story of Stuff

Consumption Calculator

Question:

Are you concerned about where your electronic products go?

-Not at all: 14 students

-Somewhat: 21 students

-Very: 3 students

-Don’t know: 1 student

Question:

How many cell phones have you ever owned?

-0-2: 13 students

-3-5: 18 students

-

6-more: 8 students

Question: How many TVs are currently in your house?

-0-2: 17 TVs

-3-5: 17 TVs

-5-more: 4 TVs

The evolution of trade

-1990s: EU, Japan and some U.S. state governments set up e-waste

“recycling” systems

-Dilemma: these countries lacked capacity to deal with quantity of waste

-Therefore, they began exporting waste to developing countries

-laws to protect workers and environment are inadequate or not enforced

-Incentive: 10x cheaper to “recycle” waste in developing countries

-Demand grew in Asia once scrape yards proved valuable

-i.e. 1 mobile phone = 19% copper & 8% iron

-UN’s estimate: a total of 20-50 million tons of e-waste generated each year worldwide

-comprising over 5% of all solid waste

-Fate of e-waste is still unknown

-exported illegally (to Africa or recovery in Asia)

-Asian workers in scrape yards are exposed to toxic chemicals

-result: water & air pollution

Trade

Basel Convention

*

International treaty designed to reduce movements of hazardous waste from developed to less developed nations

(LCDs)

-Disposal costs for hazardous waste rose dramatically in 1970s

-Globalization made transboundary movement accessible

-Consequently, LDCs became desperate for foreign currency

-Of the 170 parties to the Convention,

Afghanistan

,

Haiti

United States

have signed but have yet ratified and the

Participants

Hall Of Fame:

Denmark

France

Germany

Luxemburg

Norway

Slovenia

Spain

Sweden

Switzerland

United Kingdom

Hall of Shame:

United States

Australia

Canada

New Zealand

Russia

Israel

Malta

Only organization focused on confronting the devastating effects of the trade of these toxic chemicals.

BAN works to prevent the globalization of the toxic chemical crisis.

A trade barrier erected

for

the environment &

for

human rights

Functions

•Definitive Source of Information on Toxic

Trade

•International Policy Advocacy

•Research and Investigations

•Campaigns

E-Waste Stewardship Project

BAN

Clip

Beryllium Used in springs, connectors and older motherboards

Causes cancer and damage in lungs

Candium Used in most rechargeable batteries

Causes damage to bones kidney , lungs and lung cancer

Brominated Flame Retardants Used to prevent fire in circuit boards and plastic casing

Long term exposure damages the nervous & reproductive system.

What' in your Comp/Phone

The leading independent campaigning organization that uses peaceful direct action and active communication to expose environmental problems and to promote solutions that are essential to a green and peaceful future.”

> As a mercury and arsenic free laptop it exceeds

European Standards

>BFR and PVC free printed wiring on the motherboard (big Step-Sony 1 st

)

BUT

>Not entirely free of hazardous chemicals

>Only green product

Macbook Air

Green my Apple

Hi I'm a MAC & I'm a PC

REDUCTION

COLLECTION TREATMENT

DISPOSAL

“Reduce, Reuse, Recycle”

Relevance

Information Politics

“I GOT YOU!!”

Leverage & Accnt. Pol.

“Bring In the Big Guy”

Symbolic Politics

“You Bold ______”

Shaming Politics

“tisk tisk tisk”

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