Toxic Trade News / 23 February 2010
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RI congratulated for rejecting e-waste from US
by ANTARA News
23 February 2010 (Nusa Dua, Bali) – The Basel Action Network has praised Indonesia for turning down nine containers of e-waste (electronic waste) from the United States last November 2009.

"Last night, I congratulated the Indonesian environmental affairs minister for the Indonesian authorities` diligent action," Jim Puckett, coordinator of Basel Action Network (BAN), said here on Monday.

Old computer monitors in the nine containers are considered hazardous e-waste for containing lead, he said when speaking to journalists attending a United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) Workshop on "Reporting Green - Environment as News".

He said e-waste was a problem which could poison the people. Some children working in electronic companies have lead in their blood which later could damage their brain. A similar problems could be found in China, India and Nigeria, he said.

The e-waste coming from Massachusetts was about to enter Semarang, Central Java, last November. But, thanks to a tip-off from BAN, the Indonesian authorities managed to foil the smuggling attempt.

In accordance with Indonesia`s law, hazardous import was banned, while for the US, which has not yet ratified the Basel Convention, the export was legal, he said.

Besides the US, Afghanistan and Haiti are yet to ratify the Basel Convention.

An attempt was made to dump used computer monitors in Indonesia because it was cheaper to export than recycle them, he said.

The sale of electronic products in countries like China and India and across continents such as Africa and Latin America are set to rise sharply in the next 10 years, according to UN experts in a landmark report released by UNEP in Nusa Dua, Monday (Feb. 22).

"And, unless action is stepped up to properly collect and recycle materials, many developing countries face the spectre of hazardous e-waste mountains with serious consequences for the environment and public health," according to the report.

Issued at a meeting of Basel Convention and other world chemical authorities prior to UNEP`s Governing Council meeting in Bali, the report "Recycling - from E-Waste to Resources" , used data from 11 representative developing countries to estimate current and future e-waste generation - which includes old and dilapidated desk and laptop computers, printers, mobile phones, pagers, digital photo and music devices, refrigerators, toys and televisions.

Nairobi-based UNEP is organizing "The Reporting Green Workshop" and "The Simaltaneous Extraordinary Meetings of the Conference of the Parties (COPs) to the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions", in Nusa Dua, from Feb. 22 to 26.

And on Feb. 24-26, UNEP will hold the 11th Special Session of the Governing Council/Global Ministerial Environment Forum, which is expected to be officially opened by President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and attended by around 100 environment ministers from various countries.

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