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 few years ago, I photoshopped Best Buy, as the last-man-standing on the brick and mortar battlefront of consumer electronics, as “Amazon Showroom.” But of late I find myself walking out with the thing I was looking at, having found it meeting my needs and competitively priced. It turns out the company is thriving, writes […]
Jason Koebler and Lorenzo Franceschi-Bicchierai received a $100 iPhone X from China and marveled at how convincing the top-to-bottom, software-to-hardware bootleggery is. iOS is recreated down to the pixel as an Android skin; only the sluggish performance, on-screen keyboard give the game away. Even many of the apps are nearly perfect, though once they run […]
Be is presented as an “electric-free” toothbrush powered by a wind-up mechanism. A couple of twists of the handle yields two minutes of brushing, according to its Kickstarter campaign, which raised nearly half a million dollars on boasts of its simple usefulness and eco-friendliness. A similar tally is listed at a follow-up Indiegogo page. Unlike […]
Summer’s here, which brings not only warmer weather but also the unsettling realization that the year is more than halfway over. So, for those who weren’t as productive as they would have liked during the first half of 2018, we’ve rounded up 5 skill course bundles you can start learning today to help you finish […]
It’s good to be proactive, but when it comes to preparing for an emergency situation, one of the most important items you can pack is a flashlight. After all, whatever else you include in your kit won’t be of much use if you can’t see what you’re doing. The Viper 1000-Lumen Tactical Flashlights not only […]
Chances are you took a handful of language classes in high school, and aside from a smattering of conjugations and vocabulary words, the only things you likely remember are the dry, rehearsed sentences that did little to make you speak like a true native. If you’re still hoping to learn a new language but want […]