🌱 What issues are there in the legal framework surrounding e-waste exports?
There are currently still a few loopholes in the laws that govern the transboundary movement of e-waste. Most notably, electronic and electrical products, which are near the end of their lifespans, can still be exported as “used” or “second-hand” goods.
🌱 What legal and policy solutions are there?
Closing the loopholes that allow for the export of e-waste as used goods – such as is foreseen by the recent “Swiss-Ghana Amendments” to the Basel Convention – is one approach. Another good example for a solution can be found from Japan, where currently 95% of the e-waste produced is recycled formally. Customers in Japan have to pay an additional recycling fee or tax when they purchase new appliances. This fee is used to cover the costs of formal recycling. Moreover, laws – such as the EU’s directives on “Waste from Electrical and Electronic Equipment” or on the “Restriction of Hazardous Substances in Electrical and Electronic Equipment” – which promote circular economy or limit the hazardous substances in electronic and electrical products can prove to be helpful.
Read more about recent developments in the international legal framework around e-waste here: