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The E-Waste Tragedy

The Illegal Recycling of Electronics is a Toxic Business

Every year, up to 50 million tons of electronic waste - computers, television sets, mobile phones, household appliances - are discarded in the developed world. Since recycling is costly, around 75% of this waste disappears, with much of it being shipped to countries such as India, China or Ghana, where it is dumped illegally, polluting the environment and affecting the lives of those forced to live with it.

The team behind the award-winning documentary "The Light Bulb Conspiracy", teams up with Mike Anane, Ghana's most experienced environmental journalist, for an investigation which begins in Europe (UK, Spain, France, Germany, Brussels), takes us to Asia (Hong Kong, China) and the US, and ends in Agbogbloshie, one of the largest e-waste cemeteries in Africa.

The film will reveal how large amounts of e-waste are diverted from the legal recycling circuits in the developed countries and sent to the Third World, using false paperwork and with many of those in the know turning a blind eye. It will show how the irresponsible 'urban mining' of e-waste. in Asian dumpsites is flaunting health and safety regulations and creating unexpected problems for the manufacturers of new electronics.

Last but not least, it will show how the new consumers in the developing countries are exacerbating the problem by adding their own e-waste to the illegal imports.

Director(s): Cosima Dannoritzer
Script: Cosima Dannoritzer
Production: ARTE France, Yuzu productions, Media 3.14, Televisió de Catalunya (TV3), Televisión Española (TVE), Arte France
Music: Laurent Sauvagnac
Actors: Mike Anane
 
Year: 2014
Duration: 53 min
Our age recommendation: 16
Language (audio): German, French, English, Spanish, Catalan
Country of origin: France, Spain
Shooting Locations: Germany, China, Hong Kong, United States, Spain, Belgium, Ghana, United Kingdom
 

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Main topic(s): Upcycling, Recycling + Waste
Secondary topics: e-waste
Mentions: electronics scrap waste 3rd world consumption sustainability illegal laptop smart phone
Topic Page(s): Upcycling, Recycling + Waste

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