Hazardous Waste and International Environmental Policy - Essay Example

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Electronic waste (e-waste) refers to old, end of life or discarded electrical appliances such as computers, laptops, fridges, radios, televisions, mobile phones among other electronic gadgets which is often disposed of by the original users as a result of their obsolete…
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Hazardous Waste and International Environmental Policy
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Hazardous Waste and International Environmental Policy Hazardous Waste and International Environmental Policy Electronic waste (e-waste) refers to old, end of life or discarded electrical appliances such as computers, laptops, fridges, radios, televisions, mobile phones among other electronic gadgets which is often disposed of by the original users as a result of their obsolete condition or malfunctioning. E-waste disposal is a rapidly growing habit in the world that is posing danger to developing countries because of the toxic substances contained in these wastes for example; mercury, lead, cadmium, barium, beryllium and plastics.
Rich developed countries such as the have for several years had an escape mechanism in dealing with the expensive disposal problem associated with e-waste. Large amounts of the world’s harmful wastes generated by the world’s industrialized market economies are exported to less developed countries in Asia and Africa. The big question here is; how can domestic policy address the issue of e-waste? Are there ratifications put in place to stop this menace? This paper focuses on the possibility of the enacted legislations to stop hazardous waste disposals in developing countries. As a matter of fact, the non developed countries remain vulnerable to disposal of the hazardous e-waste since they lack a ratified policy to stop dumping of wastes in their land. As this disposal continues human health is at a great risk of it being compromised. The issue of health has raised attention compelling developing states to enact laws and regulations governing e-waste disposal. This is a positive trend that puts into check waste disposal. It is however worth noting that the regulations formulated only apply to the states in question and does not touch on the exporting countries where the waste originates from in fact some key producers of e-waste are reluctant to ratification plans designed to reduce these wastes. The result of lack of law enforcement on e-waste in poor and developing countries pose a major danger to human health and its environment. Poor countries need to come up with domestic policies that does not only govern internal waste disposal but also imported e-waste. In addition, poor countries need to unite and formulate an international policy that will govern importation of e-waste from developed countries. At individual level, people should learn basic concepts of recycling as this will reduce intoxication of lands and its resources. However, this may not completely stop e-waste disposal. It is further complicated because of the large volumes of wastes produced caused by the ever changing technologies. The electronic devices in question contain harmful substances as mentioned earlier; these substances limit the possible modes of disposal for example, incineration worsens environmental problems such as global warming and hence formulation of policies governing disposal must identify the disposal method with care. This menace may not soon come to a stop because of the high demand for these e-products in poor countries by industries which try to either recycle or refurbish the wastes into better products. Collective responsibility is a way out to managing e-waste.
Luther, L. (2010), “Managing Electronic Waste”, Issues with Exporting E-Waste, Congressional Research Service: Committee of Congress. Read More
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