About the project
During three years DanWatch has investigated the Danish and European export of e-wast to developing countries - especially estern Africa.
The investigation is sponsored by Danida, IBIS and EuropeAid.
The project Exit E-waste focuses on the growing export of obsolete electronics to developing countries without systems to recycle electronic waste in a sustainable manner.
When you buy a new computer or another electronic gadget the materials it's made of most likely comes from Africa. And when you ditch the computer for a newer model, there is a good chance the old ends up in - Africa.
Used and discarded electronics exported in great style to poor developing countries like Ghana with weak or no enforcement of environmental regulations. Here the discarded electronics end up in large piles on the ground, from where toxic substances like cadmium, brominated flame retardants and mercury is released and damages the environment and local scrap workers.
The scrap workers who live by extracting useful materials from the electronic scrap, are exposed to many toxic chemicals as they work to rid electronics products apart to recycle usable parts - and scrap the workers are often children.
When electronics are sent to Africa, it often happens in the belief that it will be recycled, but most is basically useless and wasted.