Ibukun Faluyi fights on the front line in the battle against e-waste pollution of Nigeria, one of the countries most affected by illegal trafficking, which is turning Africa into the world’s electronic landfill. Tons and tons of toxic waste, from computers to television screens, from washing machines to refrigerators, if not properly disposed of at the source often begin a journey to Africa, starting with Nigeria, Ghana and several countries of the Gulf of Guinea, and they end up in the infernal circles where the kids work, without any protection, to recover the metals to resell.
Faluyi the number one of Epron, the Nigerian consortium recently engaged in launching an efficient model of electronic waste treatment twinned with Erion, the Italian multi-consortium system for the management of all waste associated with electrical and electronic products. We are very happy with the twinning with Erion, which represents an important opportunity to increase our skills in this company, explains Faluyi. A gigantic enterprise, given the size of the waste stream dumped in the African country by the industrialized world. Out of 10 million tons of electronic waste produced every year by the Old Continent, 1.5 million ends up in developing countries, especially in Africa and the Far East, remembers Giorgio Arienti, general manager of Erion. Of these, many come from Italy.
Only 40% of electronic waste produced by Italians it is correctly recovered, recycled and disposed of, while 60% is lost in a thousand streams, with considerable environmental and social damage, explains Arienti. How many of these toxic wastes end up in Africa that is difficult to pinpoint, an investigation would be needed involving the police on both sides of illegal trafficking. Certainly some more control in the ports or even upstream, in the criminal organizations from which these flows depart, could be useful.
The illegal export of waste and it hides behind the trade in second-hand products or even behind supplies for charity. These products are supposed to be functional and the burden of proof lies with those who export them, Arienti adds. Precisely for this reason it is essential that the producers themselves treat electronic waste and what Erion will help Epron to create: a system in which producers take charge of the correct disposal of their products.
June 19, 2021 (change June 19, 2021 | 00:32)
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