Yes, sort of. I think it is more that countries like America export their e-wastes to other countries for recycling and disposal. Unlike the European Union and several other countries, we have not signed a treaty which would ban this practice. It has been estimated that China takes on up to 70% of the world’s e-waste.
Although many people would assume that all the e-waste we produce, as well as all the other Westernized countries, gets dealt with in country, you’re wrong. Unless you pay to have your e-waste taken to an plant and dealt with specifically, it gets shipped to other countries, usually third-world or developing nations and it becomes their problem. But from my recent travels around the world, I visited China as well as Ghana. It may be true that China takes in about 70% of the world’s e-waste, but from what I saw in Ghana, I would say that they also take a good amount of e-waste from around the world. The link below will bring you to a video that was shot by a student on the Semester at Sea voyage that I just completed this spring. It should shed some light on the fact that we truly have no idea where all of our e-waste goes, but once we know, it becomes a hard reality to absorb and digest as Americans.
Here is the link. Please visit it and watch the video.
We seem to have a fixation and carelessness with the word recycled. The word means taking a component, metal, plastics, glass, and placing it back into a new product displacing the need to mine and produce a new one over and over again. When you send stuff to the cheapest downstream recycler, this means burning and landfilling not recycling. So the answer is there are lots of countries that are disposal sites for ewaste, but none for recycling. If you think this is wrong, as them to show you products made from the recycled plastics for instance. Believe me you wont get an answer.
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