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FRONTLINE/WORLD

INTERACTIVE MAP: The Global Trade in Electronic Waste

By Leslie Young

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Leslie Young is a Canadian reporter who specializes in investigative reporting and domestic and international public policy issues. A recent graduate of the UBC School of Journalism, Young has worked at Canada's largest national newspaper, The Globe and Mail, and as an associate producer with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. She was part of the FRONTLINE/World team investigating the e-waste trade and traveled to India.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES & RELATED LINKS

GAO Report on Electronic Waste – August 28, 2008

This 2008 report from the Government Accounting Office (GAO) is highly critical of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and its regulation of the U.S. e-waste industry. The report criticizes the agency for doing little to prevent or prosecute U.S. companies for shipping e-waste illegally to poorer nations that are ill equipped to deal with it.

The Basel Convention
The Basel Convention, signed in Basel, Switzerland, in 1992, is an international treaty governing the flow of hazardous materials, including electronic waste. The website contains a list of signatories and links to the full text of the convention.

Greenpeace Greener Electronics Campaign
Greenpeace has launched a number of campaigns over the years highlighting the problems of electronic waste disposal. The website offers consumer advice on how to make responsible electronics purchases; and the organization’s current focus is on pushing companies to take greater responsibility for the entire life cycle of the products they produce. 

Basel Action Network

The Basel Action Network (BAN) is a Seattle-based NGO providing research and policy recommendations on the trans border movement of toxic substances regulated under the Basel Convention. BAN is often credited with bringing the issue of electronic waste to a wider audience with its 2002 documentary, “Exporting Harm: The High-Tech Trashing of Asia.” The film focused on the group’s investigation into e-waste dumping and hazardous recycling in the town of Guiyu, China.

Toxics Link
Toxics Link is one of India’s leading environmental groups. Part of its work is focused on domestic electronic waste management as India continues toward a more consumer society.