The environmental impact of waste generated from the UK is being spread far and wide across the planet. As China closes its doors to other countries waste, Thailand is trying to prevent its fast-growing reputation as the “rubbish dump of the world”. With pictures and stories recently hitting the internet of the latest super dump in Thailand, consideration must be given to the way the UK disposes of the waste created within its borders.
In accordance with the Basel convention, Waste Electronic and Electrical Equipment generated from within the UK, should be treated within or as close to our borders. China is beginning to reject waste created across the globe from entering its borders and Thailand is fast becoming the new destination for electrical and plastic waste. This is hot on the heels of the environmental disaster that is the Agbogbloshie waste site in Ghana, once dubbed “the most toxic place on earth”
The scale of the site and the impact on the environment is enormous, piles of electrical waste scattered across the earth, no consideration is given to the impact of storing hazardous materials and chemicals, such as lead and copper, which seep from the equipment and straight into the land and the water table. Thick black plumes of smoke swirl into the sky as burning the plastic not only reduces the amount of waste but also removes sleeves from cables exposing the copper.
With little consideration given to impact on the global environment, the regional impact seems to be an oversight too. China is beginning to take notice of the impact on the health of the people processing the electronic waste, that yields valuable materials against the cost of chronic health problems caused from processing.
Choosing a downstream partner of high standing within the disposal industry, helps you to know your waste will not be adding to this significant global problem. Choosing the correct disposal path for your equipment may cost a little more financially at the beginning of the process, but if the result is a better and safer global environment, just maybe it’s a price worth paying.