POST Online Media Lite Edition


Global ban on exporting hazardous waste moves forward. Except in U.S.

Christian Fernsby |
The Caribbean country of St. Kitts and Nevis deposited their ratification of the Ban Amendment to the Basel Convention.

Article continues below

Topics: HAZARDOUS WASTE    U.S.   

The Ban Amendment, adopted by the Parties to the Basel Convention in 1995, prohibits, for those countries ratifying it, the export of hazardous wastes from member states of the European Union, Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development and Liechtenstein to all other countries.

Currently, 96 countries have ratified.

The Ban Amendment called for by European, developing countries, and environmental and human rights groups in the early 1990s - has been hailed as a landmark agreement for global environmental justice.

This amendment, in view of the recent epidemic of unwanted wastes exported from North American and European countries ending up in Asia and Africa, is seen as more relevant than ever.

According to BAN the United States, the world's most wasteful country per-capita, has not ratified the Basel Convention, nor the Ban Amendment.

Consequently, the U.S. still allows the export of many hundreds of containers of hazardous e-waste to leave their shores each week for developing countries where they are processed by informal sector actors in primitive, and highly polluting operations.

BAN has tracked such exports using GPS trackers and has found that 40% of e-waste delivered to U.S. recyclers finds its way off-shore to Asian and African countries

What to read next

Cargo ship carrying old Canadian waste pulls away from Philippines
Canada ends long dispute and takes garbage back from Philippines
Sri Lanka orders return of smuggled British garbage