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Conference could bring worldwide e-waste plan

A worldwide plan to promote the recycling of electronic waste could emerge from the upcoming and eighth meeting of the conference of the parties to the Basel Convention.

The event takes place in Kenya - its first session in Africa - from November 27 to December 1. A world forum on e-waste will be convened at the meeting, with industry, environmental groups and governments participating in discussions.

The outcome, said a Basel secretariat note, could be the adopting of a global strategy to address e-wastes, set in the broader context of end-of-life equipment, environmentally sound management and the [UN] Millennium Development Goals. Basel signatory governments, which include European Union (EU) member states, are bound to implement rules and plans, which are often written into EU - and hence national - legislation.

Basel rules are usually technical, and the secretariats note said delegates would focus on global rules that could help define what materials are classed as electronic waste or reusable old electronic goods, a key consideration for waste exporters.

Another is the classification of specific waste components as hazardous or non-hazardous.
The issue offers an important and focused opportunity for raising awareness about the environmentally sound management of wastes and the integrated life-cycle approach, said the secretariat.


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