Ghana battle against electronic waste
The UK's largest recycling company, Environcom, was accused by Ghana's energy regulator of illegally importing thousands of second hand fridges into the West African country.
Ghana banned the import of second hand fridges in January 2013, after concerns about the numbers of fridges arriving at its docks, and yet it was reported that 177 seizures of second-hand fridges had occurred, over 90% of which were said to have come from Britain
The trade of second hand goods has been criticised by multiple organisations, including Greenpeace, who conducted a study into the trade of second hand goods to Africa. The report stated that 'up to 75% of "second-hand goods" imported to Africa could not be reused, and that in Ghana, goods that had been dumped were releasing hazardous substances into the environment, including toxic metal lead; chemicals such as the phthalates DEHP and DBP, which were known to interfere with sexual reproduction; and chlorinated dioxins known to promote cancer.
Ghana is one of the first West African countries to have banned old fridges in an attempt to reduce the import of chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), in addition to reducing the use of energy inefficient fridges. Old fridges were reported to use more than half of Ghana's national energy output of 2,000 megawatts a year.
Government officials said that they were “determined that the ban on second-hand fridges imported into Ghana would be a success, and that a complaint to the EU, and to the British high commission would be filed."
A Spokesperson from Environcom stated that the company “stopped exporting fridges to Ghana some months ago in line with the introduction of the ban, however some containers that left us on time got delayed in transit and arrived in Ghana late and containers that were received prior to the ban were also impounded,"
See our product guide to fridge freezers.
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