Ghana urged to bolster e-scrap guidelines

UN urges Ghana to develop scrap electronics guidelines

By Editorial Staff, Resource Recycling

The UN has stepped up its efforts to persuade Ghana to develop a national e-scrap recycling program to safely handle the country’s scrap electronic stream.

In a statement issued by the UN Working Group on Business and Human Rights following a recent 10-day visit to the west African country, the Working Group voiced its concern over recycling practices in the Agbogbloshie area. According to the statement, workers there — representing some of the poorest in Ghana — are asked to burn and dispose of large quantities of hazardous electronics "emanating largely from other countries in the Americas, Europe and Asia."

Posing both an environmental and health risk, the informal recycling sector in Agbogbloshie has been targeted by the Working Group as an area in desperate need of government regulations. In addition, the group stressed that "the home countries of electronics recyclers have an important role to play in ensuring that standards are effectively enforced, and in setting out clearly the expectation that companies in their markets respect human rights throughout their global activities."

Kenya is finalizing its own set of e-scrap regulations to monitor and handle the country's e-scrap stream.

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