Electronic Waste In Ghana

1248 Words 5 Pages
“Waste: damaged, defective, or superfluous material produced by a manufacturing process…” (Merriam-Webster, Waste). Using this above definition, it is possible to break into the sub-branch known as electronic waste or E-waste. Due to the current large consumerism culture, many first world countries find themselves producing an unstable amount of E-waste from the constant “upgrading” or destruction of older electronics. Further in this paper, examples of how this waste is dealt with shall be covered, with an international response to these dealings, their effects, and analysis of the global flows spawned from all of the above subjects. To show why this is a subject that every global citizen should be concerned with, this paper will start …show more content…
E-waste can be considered valuable due to the “iron, aluminum, copper, gold, silver, and rare earth metals” (Heacock et al., 2016) that can be retrieved from these defective devices. While this incentive does not currently outweigh the expenditures occured for processing in developed countries, developing countries can be drawn to it instead. This why Agbogbloshie area of Ghana, can be considered “one of the largest informal e-waste dumping and processing sites in Africa--about 215,000 tons of secondhand consumer electronics...“ (Heacock et al., 2016). Informal is the key word in this previous statement. Such process can involve burning, or unprotected handling of this toxic waste, harming not just the people involved, but also the …show more content…
Cities or areas have developed in Africa and China based solely on the recycling of this electronic waste. They are willing to take on such burden because the wealth brought to them from crude recycling is greater than local industry and provides a chance for them to also acquire some of this technology. This would seem to be a great advantage. Problems with this arises in how dangerous improper recycling is. Handling such waste without protection can cause damage to an individual. E-waste left in the environment can affect local wildlife, which in turn can affect diet and health of other indigenous peoples, not directly involved in the process. A common process is also to burn unused remnants, which releases toxins into the air. In such event the effects of recycling could potentially affect others hundreds of miles away. This transfer of E-waste to developing world is the by-product of local consumer habits in the developed world. Then due to the rampantly globalized world, economic incentives, and global flow structures, the flow is directed towards the developing countries. Here we can see some economic benefit on the local scale, but disastrous health and environmental effects locally and moving to

Related Documents