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Europe Is Dumping Its Electronic Waste In Africa, Study Says

E-Waste.dokumol/Pixabay

Along with regular garbage, electronic garbage is fast becoming one of the world’s biggest problems, a lot of which is apparently due to the fact that people are just throwing away electronics willy-nilly. With this being the case, the accumulation of toxic chemicals and plastic parts is becoming a problem. Instead of addressing it directly, however, a study says that Europe is simply dumping its e-waste in Africa.

The study was conducted by the United Nations University, which receives funding from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. According to the findings of the researchers, about 77 percent of the 60,000 tons of e-waste that make it to Africa, specifically, Nigeria, are coming from Europe. The rest comes from the US and China.

For some context, Europe throws away about 12.3 million tons of electronics per year. This includes every European country and Russia.

As a result, landfills are becoming hazardous sites where metal toxicity is through the roof, which is penetrating the soil, water, and even the air. Those living near such landfills have begun to suffer the effects, leading to metal poisoning in many cases.

It was clear that the issue needed to be dealt with, but recycling being such an expensive and time-consuming solution, dumping some of the waste elsewhere was thought of as a viable option. This is exactly what Europe did.

The method of delivery is really sneaky, as well, as Futurism points out. Apparently, the e-waste arrives in Nigeria via containers that have used cars. Now, these affordable vehicles are actually wanted in the region since people need to drive to places, but every bit of available space that’s not occupied by a set of wheels is stuffed with discarded electronics.

What this means is that the e-waste is being smuggled into Nigeria from Europe. This is a huge problem because this is actually illegal according to UN law.

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