Dumping hazardous waste becomes illegal... huh?

In December 2019, an amendment of the Basel Convention becomes law. This amendment entails a prohibition to ship hazardous waste from developed countries, like the member states of the European Union, to developing countries.


With this amendment it becomes prohibited for the members of the EU, the members of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and Liechtenstein to export hazardous waste to all other countries. Most countries state they export electronic devices to developing countries to be recycled there. In practice, it creates situations as seen on the example shown on the image. This particular illustration is made in Lagos, Nigeria.

The electronic waste countries ‘export’ in many containers go to primitive recyclers who use means such as burning, melting and chemical stripping. Anything that can’t be used is thrown away, resulting in dumpsites. Those primitive recycling means and the dumpsites result in highly polluting operations. For example, dumpsites as shown above are routinely set ablaze resulting in highly toxic air emissions.


To solve this environmental harmful situation, the amendment has now been ratified by 97 countries to date and that means the necessary requirement of ¾th of the parties present and voting in 1995 has been fulfilled. Striking absentees that have not ratified the amendment are countries such as the United States, Canada and Japan. Jim Puckett, Executive Director of the Basel Action Network, hopes that countries that have not yet ratified the amendment will do so in the future:

There can be no excuse for using the developing world as the dumping ground for the toxic effluent of the affluent. With the Ban Amendment now a legal certainty, we hope the countries that have to date refused to ratify will do so and close the sad chapter of toxic colonialism done in the name of recycling."

​Environmental Compliance

Do you wonder if your company has to register for environmental compliance, within the EU or elsewhere? Or do you, like Jim Puckett does, want to make the world a better and more environmental friendly place? Do not hesitate to give us a call on +31(0)88-4321800 or send an e-mail to info@pincvision.com We would love to help you with all of your questions.

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Source: BAN Press Release

23 Sep 2019 at 12:00 am