|Obama Asked to Stop the US Government from Exporting
It’s e-Waste to Developing Countries
Executive Order called for before Leaving Office
June 27, 2016. Seattle, WA, USA. The Basel Action Network (BAN), along with other environmental groups, recycling industries and consumers, are petitioning President Obama to sign an executive order in his final months to, once and for all, stop the ongoing exportation of the federal government’s electronic waste to developing countries. According to BAN, such an export prohibition would not only protect the environment and human health, but would also provide thousands of green recycling jobs in the United States and provide government digital inclusion programs with a source of refurbishable computing equipment.
In May of this year, the Basel Action Network (BAN) released the results of a two-year study presented by PBS Newshour that utilized geo-locating tracking devices implanted in e-waste. This study showed that almost 40% of devices delivered to electronics recyclers – many of which are Certified and thus preferentially used by US government agencies- were exported to informal, highly polluting operations in Hong Kong and other locations in Asia.
The US is the only developed country in the world that has virtually no legal controls in place to prevent the export of hazardous electronic waste to developing countries. Numerous attempts in recent years to prohibit the export of electronic waste have been proposed and were then opposed by the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries formidable lobby; thus, failed to find a hearing in the House of Representatives. At the same time, the US federal government is believed to be the largest single generator of electronic waste in the world.
“Sadly, the shameful global dumping has continued unabated due to a disgraceful industry lobby manipulation of a dysfunctional Congress,” said Jim Puckett, the Executive Director of BAN. “A signature from Obama to properly manage the federal government’s own e-waste would not only send a powerful message, but would in fact result in replacing cancer and birth defects with sustainable safe jobs.”
BAN has prepared a “scrapbook” of photos from Ghana, Nigeria, and China showing US government e-waste (including ironically from the US EPA) that they have found in their investigations over recent years.
The petition is open to all global citizens and is hosted on Change . org.
“Signing this petition is a unique chance for all of us to act to promote environmental justice and the green economy,” said Puckett. “Please sign now!”