E-waste is becoming an increasing problem at Antwerp harbour.
Every ship leaving for West Africa carries containers with what is officially called second-hand goods, but of which at large part does not work at all. The electronic waste is dumped on dumping sites such as Agbogbloshie near the Ghanese capital of Accra. Children melt the lead from discarded batteries or remove the copper from the PVC. The soil at this dump is heavily polluted and has a negative effect on the children's health. Although the transport of such waste to the Third World is prohibited internationally, control measures in the Flemish harbours are limited, consisting of only two Federal and two Flemish environmental inspectors. It is currently not known via which European networks the electronic waste lands in these containers. Dealers in West Africa buy the e-waste per container, assuming that between 25 and 75 percent of the content is non-functional. Groen! MP Rudi Daems paid a working visit to Ghana and pleads for a stricter policy with more environmental inspectors. Last year Greenpeace had some success in their protest in the Netherlands against the trade in e-waste. Since then Rotterdam harbour has been under stricter control, presumably causing the trade to move to Antwerp.
See the documentation at deredactie.be.
Source: De Standaard /Oost-Vlaanderen