Around half of e-waste plastics are not recycled in Europe but rather shipped abroad where they often end up being dumped or burnt. Simpler laws on recycling in Europe would help keep those materials at home and recycle them, argues Chris Slijkhuis.
Electric and electronic scrap represents a growing share of plastic waste, but most of it is currently not recycled because of inappropriate collection schemes and difficulties in dealing with the harmful chemical substances they may contain.
European legislation has made appliances like washing machines and dishwashers even more water and energy efficient than washing clothes and dishes by hand. The next step is to connect these appliances to the web and allow them to act independently.
Thailand has become one of the largest dumpsites for electronic waste from developed countries since China’s January ban on the import of plastic waste. EURACTIV’s partner Le Journal de l’environnement reports.
More than two thirds of metal appliances and tech products that are thrown away in the EU are processed illegally and some leak toxins into the environment that can have dangerous health effects. Researchers said Europe has an electronic waste problem.
African nations have called for continent-wide action to staunch the import of electronic waste, including old computers and mobile telephones from Europe where stringent environmental laws make exporting used goods cheaper than disposing of them at home.
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