|Title||Hidden Flow: The rising tide of European e-waste in West Africa|
|Date released (year)||2008|
|Link to film||http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NBC-dWgElbI
|Synopsis||This investigative film produced by CI’s corporate watchdog partner DanWatch reveals how a staggering 500,000 used PCs arrive in Lagos every month – 75% of which go straight to landfill. This is just the tip of the 6.6 million tons of European e-waste dumped on the developing world every year, despite international bans.|
|Reviews/discussion||Greenpeace’s supporting discussion:
How does it get to Ghana?
Containers filled with old and often broken computers, monitors and TVs – from brands including Philips, Canon, Dell, Microsoft, Nokia, Siemens and Sony – arrive in Ghana from Germany, Korea, Switzerland and the Netherlands under the false label of “second-hand goods”. Exporting e-waste from Europe is illegal but exporting old electronics for ‘reuse’ allows unscrupulous traders to profit from dumping old electronics in Ghana. The majority of the containers’ contents end up in Ghana’s scrap yards to be crushed and burned by unprotected workers. Some traders report that to get a shipping container with a few working computers they must accept broken junk like old screens in the same container from exporters in developed countries.
What’s the solution?
While working computers and mobile phones can have a new lease of life in some African countries, they create pollution when thrown away due to the high levels of toxic chemicals they contain. This is why we are pressuring the biggest electronic companies to phase out toxic chemicals and introduce global recycling schemes. Both of these steps are vital to tackle the growing tide of toxic e-waste.
Some companies are making progress towards taking responsibility for the entire lifecycle of their products. However, Philips and Sharp stand out for refusing to accept that they are responsible for recycling their old products. The stance of these powerful multinationals is ensuring there will always be a digital divide that they prefer remains hidden, a dangerous divide with unprotected workers in developing countries left with the toxic legacy.
Behind the story
Mid-2008 a Greenpeace team including campaigner Kim Schoppink and photographer Kate Davison went to Ghana to document and gather evidence of what really happens to our electronic waste.
|Links to other resources||Earth Times: http://www.earthtimes.org/environment/waste/
Fabrice Babin’s 2011 film on e-waste in Ghana: http://www.javafilms.fr/spip.php?article632
The Story of Electronics : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G49q6uPcwY8&feature=list_other&playnext=1&list=SP77CE8943362CB9B0