What is the world doing about E-waste?
In response to E-waste many countries met in Basel, Switzerland for the Basel Convention to create an International treaty to end the immoral dumping and exporting of hazardous waste principally from developed countries to undeveloped countries; with a three step process that will lower the production of hazardous waste, treat and dispose of hazardous waste near their origin, and diminish international movement of hazardous waste. The Basel convention was not working as well as was proposed, thus many countries met again and created the Ban Amendment which banned all dumping and exporting of hazardous waste. The Basel Action Network was created to help the Ban Amendment progress across the globe. The following sections provide an in depth look of these laws and organizations that are seeking to end the mishandling of E-waste.
The Basel Convention on the Control of Trans-boundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal or Basel Convention for short, is an international treaty that seeks to end the unethical dumping and exporting of hazardous waste primarily from developed countries to undeveloped countries. On March 22, 1982 the Basel Convention treaty was adopted in Basel, Switzerland. The Basel Convention truly entered into force on May 2, 1992; currently the Basel Convention has been ratified by 63 countries, although the treaty is not legally binding unless the country has adopted it. Four countries that have not adopted the Basel Convention are the United States, Australia, New Zealand, and Canada. The three steps to minimize hazardous waste:
Many countries believe that the Basel Convention was not strict enough. After the adoption, ironically, instead of eliminating what people thought was a criminal act, it helped legalize hazardous waste trade. The convention did not ban the trade of hazardous waste in any country and only required “prior informed consent” or a warning to complete hazardous trade with them, except for Antarctica, which was the only country that was protected by the Basel Convention. Many countries thought that a complete ban of hazardous waste would be needed. In 1995 the idea to enforce the Basel Ban Amendment into the Basel Convention. The Basel Ban Amendment forbids the export of hazardous waste for all reasons, including recycling. All 63 countries that approved of the Basel Convention have ratified the Basel Ban Amendment, although only 62 countries were needed for it to come into action.
The Basel Action Network is a global organization that is located in the US, Europe, and Asia. BAN works on many campaigns to improve the world. They work against the growth of toxic trade, products, and technologies. BAN is also a definitive source of information on toxic trade; they want to help journalists and the general public to become more aware of toxic trade and inform people who are responsible for irresponsibly disposing of E-waste. BAN is also recognized by the UK as the leading organization in environmental issues. Some of BANs current Campaigns:
E-waste stewardship project: This campaign works to ensure the prevention of exporting electronic hazardous waste to undeveloped countries specifically from the US or other countries that were exposed by BAN.
UNEP International Environmental. House Origins of The Basel Convention. 20 March 2007. http://basel.int/convention/basics.html .
Basel Action Network. Basel Action Network (BAN). 17 March 2007. http://www.ban.org/main/about_BAN.html .
Wikipedia. Basel Convention. 30 February 2007. 20 March 2007. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Basel_Convention .