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UK charity Computer Aid calls on governments to “end e-waste” with export and landfill bans

UK IT charity Computer Aid International is calling on governments to end waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) altogether by banning its export and import and preventing it from being dumped and landfilled.

In a report, How To End All E-waste, the charity said that such policies are “relatively straightforward” and that it is “political will” which is required to end WEEE altogether.

The report said: “Comprehensive, effective and high-quality end-of life solutions for electronics are possible everywhere, provided two conditions are met: governments must legislate to make e-waste recycling compulsory and dumping illegal; and the cost of e-waste management must be met by electronics producers.”

Other recommendations made by the report include:

  • Prioritising re-use over recycling for working equipment and components
  • Compel WEEE recycling through legitimate operators
  • Enacting producer responsibility to fund management of WEEE and promoting eco-design

Computer Aid environmental advocacy officer Haley Bowcock said: “It is essential that those countries with existing laws and regulations for e-waste properly enforce them. This will most likely involve stronger penalties for e-waste criminals and more resources for enforcement authorities.

“Additionally, all governments need to develop systems for the safe and effective management of e-waste that are backed by legislation and based on producer responsibility. This will enable all countries to develop and maintain the capacity to manage e-waste safely over the long term.

“It will also help prevent e-waste from continuing to flow down a path of legislative least resistance, at great cost to communities and the environment.”

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