The 14th Conference of the Parties to the Basel Convention concluded in early May, without approving in full the Technical Guidelines on the Transboundary Movement of e-Waste. The Guideline, which included an exemption from controls for e-wastes claimed for repair, failed to find the support for its final adoption after several years of negotiation. The Basel Convention seeks to prevent the export and dumping of hazardous wastes, particularly in developing countries.
The Basel Action Network (BAN) has published its new Responsible Guideline on Transboundary Movements of Used Electronic Equipment and Electronic Waste to Promote an Ethical Circular Economy under the Basel Convention. This was developed as an alternative Guideline to the Basel Convention's Interim Guideline which has been fraught with controversy and lack of consensus.
In the wake of multiple scandalous discoveries of piles of used Ofo and Lime rideshare bikes in the US and China, the Basel Action Network (BAN) and its e-waste recycling program, e-Stewards, is calling on all bicycle and scooter rideshare companies, and the city governments that license them, to establish responsible end-of-life policies to ensure maximal reuse and safe and responsible recycling for those bikes and scooters that cannot be reused.
The Basel Action Network (BAN) has warned South and Southeast Asian nations that they will become the next, after Thailand, to be hit by a tidal wave of electronic and plastic wastes from North America and Europe, if they don't move to ban the import of such wastes by ratifying an international agreement called the Basel Ban Amendment. The Ban Amendment would amend the existing Basel Convention, now agreed by 194 countries, to make it illegal to export hazardous wastes such as electronic wastes (e-waste) for any reason from developed countries of the OECD and EU blocs to developing countries.
Environmental groups praised the Hewlett Packard Company March 16th, for its recent announcement that they will henceforth reveal to the public where all of their electronic waste goes. This call for "e-Trash Transparency" was one of the demands of the global toxic trade watchdog organization, Basel Action Network's (BAN) e-Trash Transparency Project, which utilized GPS tracking devices placed within discarded electronic equipment to find out what really happens with our electronic waste. The project revealed, in its two reports "Disconnect" and "Scam Recycling", that American consumers are often duped by recyclers or thrift shops like Goodwill Industries, when they claim environmentally safe recycling and instead export the equipment to developing countries. BAN's investigation discovered that 40% of old printers and monitors were exported to countries like Pakistan and China where they are most often broken down in dangerous backyard operations exposing workers and the environment to dangerous substances such as mercury and lead.
The global environmental toxic trade watchdog organization Basel Action Network, together with two Chilean NGOs -- FIMA and the Terram Foundation -- have urged the government of Chile to fulfill its international commitments to end transboundary trafficking in hazardous wastes. As part of the public consultation of one of the regulations, the three environmental advocacy organizations are urging the government to respect its international commitments concerning the import and export of hazardous waste.
e-Stewards, the gold standard for socially and environmentally responsible electronics recycling, has announced that they will be making regular use of embedded GPS-based tracking devices placed into used electronic equipment to verify the performance of their Certified e-Stewards Recyclers.
Global Ewaste Solutions Becomes First South East Asian Electronics Recycler to Achieve e-Stewards Certification
Global Ewaste Solutions Pte., Ltd., in Singapore, has been granted the first e-Stewards certification in South East Asia, and is the first to offer global coverage with three e-Stewards Certified facilities outside of the United States. The e-Stewards Certification is widely recognized as the most rigorous standard for socially and environmentally sound electronics recycling and asset management in the world.
As part of its ongoing e-Trash Transparency Project, which installed and deployed more than 200 electronic tracking devices in old computer printers and monitors and then tracked them across the globe, the Basel Action Network (BAN) has announced that the tracker data it has received has revealed four more Washington State recyclers implicated in exporting toxic, non-functional electronic scrap equipment to locations in China in likely violation of Chinese law, recycling certification programs, and state and county policies.
Following almost a year-long deliberation over a petition by Kuusakoski Recycling and their partner Peoria Disposal Company requesting e-Stewards to relax its standard to give greater acceptance to placing crushed and treated cathode ray tube (CRT) glass into solid waste landfill cells for possible future retrieval and recycling, the BAN Board of Directors has voted to accept the majority recommendations of the e-Stewards Leadership Council and its Technical Committee and deny the petition.