Electronic Waste- Environmental Studies

Electronic Waste- Environmental Studies

The kind of pollution associated with electronic waste dumping is land pollution. When the electronic wastes fill the land, they result in environmental degradation as a result of careless dumping.  Most of these electronic gadgets such as phones contain elements of rare earth metals such as copper, indium and gallium which are toxic to the soil as they can cause an alteration in the soil PH. These elements can also e swept off by surface runoff into water bodies or even wind causing severe land pollution.

Most of the companies from the global north used to dispose of electronic waste in the third world countries like in the case of Ghana.  The scarcity of raw materials in developing countries encouraged the developed countries to export electronic wastes and hazardous materials since they were believed to constitute raw materials that could assist in industrial processes (Robbins, Hintz and Moore, 2014). This act of disposal has however changed in the recent years since the global cost of dumping electronic wastes multiplied than it was the case before. They used to find the disposition of these electronic wastes to foreign countries cheaper not keeping in mind the kind of harm they were likely to cost to the environment of these developing countries. These unjust and unfair acts, however, reduced after the Basal Convention which is an international agreement forced traders in joining it. The Basal Convention is responsible for preventing developed richer countries from exporting these hazardous materials to developing countries processes (Robbins, Hintz and Moore, 2014). Many states have now moved from exporting dangerous as well as electronic wastes for disposal to exporting them for recycling. Recycling hazardous material ensures minimal cases of pollution and health-related issues.

The enactment of harsh environmental regulations from environmental management authorities has led to this change. Dumping is now considered an offence punishable by the law. These environmental regulations have brought about vigilance and have opened up the minds of people to newer ideas such as waste recycling (Robbins, Hintz and Moore, 2014). Recycling hazardous and electronic wastes have by so far been beneficial when it comes to obtaining essential raw materials that can be used for future production.



Robbins, P., Hintz, J., & Moore, S. A. (2014). Environment and society: a critical introduction. John Wiley & Sons.