Western countries are dumping their e-waste in poor and backward countries of the East.
Are they doing so in bias against them? Do they want to destroy them by converting them into the dumping ground of the electronic waste that is not only harmful for the environment but equally hits human life?
What benefits they will get by doing so.
Absolutely no any benefit.
On the other hand they will earn the notoriety of environmentally harming the lands across the border.
Does price matter here?
Then why advanced countries of the west are throwing their e-waste in least developed countries of the Asia and Africa. This is the main question of the debate here.
No one is forcing any of them to do so. Actually this is the poverty that is playing a catalyst role in this bad deal. Price matters in every deal. So does it here in this deal.
Before discussing more on the topic let’s have a look at the gravity of the problem of e-waste with the infographics given below:
Click to Enlarge Image
Cheap prices play a key role
Actually poor countries buy the used electronic items of all types from the scrap sellers of the rich countries. We know all that most of the rich countries belong to the West and almost all poor countries hail from the East.
Electronic scrap buyers of poor countries import used electronic items from West on cheap prices. They refurbish them and resell them on relatively cheap prices. Consumers in poor and least developed countries warmly welcome such low-price offers because their objective is to fulfill their needs of electronic items without worrying about their durability.
They know if they buy new one it will also be obsolete after sometimes when its advance version will arrive in the market.
Obsolete computers in hot demand!
Take the example of used computers. There is a huge market of used computers in Asia and Africa. People are still using here Pentium III and IV. Most of them even don’t know which one is the most advance model of the computer.
Used laptops in such countries are being bought like hot cakes because no one cares here about the model or brand of the laptop. They just want a machine which they can use freely and take it anywhere they want.
How it is going on?
But the question is how western countries are throwing their e-scrap into the poor eastern countries.
Actually every kind of electronic items after completing its service life turns into scrap or waste. So the used items bought by the traders of poor countries already spent most part of their service life. After being used for a few years these used items turned into complete scrap and this becomes the e-waste.
Harms of e-waste
Some of the electronic waste has several dangerous contaminants like lead, cadmium, and beryllium or brominates flame retardants. There is consensus among environmentalists that electronic waste should be handled with caution.
It may hit all those who come in direct contact with it. Moreover, it takes decades to partially dissolve into the soil because of its hardness. Even then it spoils the natural characteristics of the soil where e-waste mixes into it.
They don’t dispose e-waste safely
One can imagine the e-waste disposal system of the poor countries. Majority of their computer literate population can’t afford to buy the new computers then how come such countries afford to adopt a system of their scraps’ disposal.
That is why most of such countries treat the e-scrap like normal solid waste and dump it into the landfill sites.
It is also a fact that even the normal solid waste is not fully disposed of in environmental friendly manners in most of the poor countries.
Half of the solid waste is not disposed off in backward countries which eventually litter around. Its particles mix into the air and other stuff that flows with rainwater and falls into the rivers and sea. It means land pollution because of its no control is eventually creating air and water pollution both in poor countries.