Illegal dumping causing pollution in Ghana

The illegal dumping of used electronic goods by the Netherlands and other Western countries is causing serious soil pollution in Ghana, according to tests carried out by the environmental organisation Greenpeace, reports ANP news service on Tuesday morning.

Large quantities of toxic materials, including lead and dioxins, have been found in the ground at scrap metal dumps in Ghana, says Greenpeace.
Almost 80% of the used electronic equipment that is sent to Ghana comes from west Europe and much of this is from the Dutch manufacturer Philips, the organisation says.
The dumping of used electronic devices is illegal but the Dutch system for collecting this waste is ‘as leaky as a colander’ Greenpeace campaign leader Kim Schoppink is quoted as saying by ANP.
Schoppink calls on Philips to make sure that all electronic equipment is recycled in the Netherlands.
In a reaction, a Philips spokeswoman told ANP that the company condemns the illegal transport of used electrical appliances which she says is outside its control.
The opposition Green Left party on Tuesday called on the cabinet to take a tougher stance on the dumping of electronic appliances. The party wants to know whether Greenpeace’s claim that only 15% of the annual 300,000 tonnes of the Netherlands’ electronic waste is recycled, reports ANP.
A report published in June by the by NVMP, which is responsible for the recycling system of electronic goods, concluded that 80% of the country’s used electronic equipment is recycled. Some 9% remains unaccounted for, the report said.
Willem Canneman, chairman of the NVMP told ANP that ‘the solution is not with producers but with the law’.
One solution could be to tackle the system for exporting second hand goods, he told ANP. ‘But that must be on a European level,’ he said.

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