EU and Nigerian law both ban the export of e-waste to Nigeria, but a new study jointly authored by scholars from UN University and the Basel Convention Coordinating Centre for Africa found that exported used cars represent a smuggler's bonanza for the illegal dumping of toxic waste.
The issue is a complex one: Nigeria relies on importing both used cars and (working) electronics from the EU and elsewhere. The empty space in used cars is just wasted, so it's smart and thrifty to fill them up with working electronics that are destined for the same port.
But jumbles of electronics stuffed into used cars are difficult to inspect, and smugglers have realized that they can exploit this difficulty to mix tons of e-waste in among the legitimate, working electronics, beating the e-waste export ban.
The European Union has laws against exporting e-waste and dumping it in Africa, but the problem persists and, according to a new study, Nigeria is one of Europe’s prime dumping grounds. The United Nations University (UNU) and the Basel Convention Coordinating Centre (BCCC) for Africa partnered co-authored the study and found that 66,000 tons of used electronics shipped to Nigeria contained 16,900 that didn’t work.
Shipping non-functioning electronics from Europe to Nigeria is illegal but lax enforcement and clever importers skirted inspectors by loading up used cars with electronics then shipping it across the ocean. “To our surprise, the most important import route was not the containers but the roll on / roll off motor vehicles,” Otmar Deubzer, an advisor at UNU and co-author of the study, told me over the phone. “Around 70 percent of equipment came in via this route.”
ASSESSING IMPORT OF USED ELECTRICAL AND
ELECTRONIC EQUIPMENT INTO NIGERIA [Olusegun Odeyingbo and Dr. Innocent Nnorom/United Nations University]
Europe Is Smuggling its E-Waste to Nigeria Inside Used Cars [Matthew Gault/Motherboard]
A couple of years ago, I was asked if I’d like to review the reMarkable tablet. If you’re unfamiliar with it, the reMarkable is an E Ink slate and pen solution that provides a digital note taking and sketching solution that feels eerily close to writing on paper. I was excited to take it for […]
Samsung’s latest phones have a “portrait” mode that cleverly fakes the look of a shot taken with a fancy lens on a full-frame sensor. But a picture they used as an example in an ad turns out to be a stock photo taken with a high-end DLSR. Moreover, the photographer, Dunja Djudjic, has a blog […]
16 thousand people have watched this ambient yet vaguely sinister YouTube video alerting viewers to the existence of “illuminati pyramid” clocks. I recently found a 1984 Seiko original at a garage sale for $2—my new favorite toy!—and thought I’d share the ancient wisdom. Best of all, it preserves bacon much better than the late-2000s replica. […]
Adobe’s design software catalog is essential to any graphics program, as much for their simplicity as their versatility. Anyone can be an effective graphic designer with tools like Illustrator and InDesign – and the right training in their potential. That’s where the Adobe CC A-Z Lifetime Bundle comes in. Whether you’re getting your feet wet […]
Businesses of any size continue to use PDFs despite – and perhaps because of – their stubborn resistance to simple editing. But for those who need a little flexibility on their documentation, the search is over for alternative software. PDF Expert for Mac is the catch-all solution for wrangling those PDFs, and it’s available at […]
When it comes to tech, smaller is better, and these items fit the bill both in terms of size and price. We’ve rounded up our favorite stocking-ready gadgets, most of which are already on sale – and you can take an additional 15% off any of them with the special code MERRY15. iPM 3-in-1 Fast […]