What Happened to the Basel Convention, Australia?

In 2010, I took a GAP year and went to Ghana  as an assisting primary school teacher.

DSCF8433

It was undoubtedly, one of the greatest experiences in my life. Ghanaians are extraordinarily welcoming, friendly and passionate about their country. It was definitely challenging at times, yet also extremely rewarding, and beautiful.

I was absolutely horrified when my web feed started popping up with these images, with captions indicating that these were taken in Ghana.

original

sourced from gizmodo.com.au

According to SBS’s Dateline, tonnes of electronic waste is being dumped in Ghana from around the world, including Australia.

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sourced from E&T Magazine

These photos depict Agbogbloshie, Africa’s biggest electronics wasteland.

Though I was living in Swedru, this is much too close to home for me to sit idly by – what if this affected the kids I taught? What if this affected all of those friends I made while I was over there?

As Dateline discusses, Australia has signed the Basel Convention, an agreement that restricts the exportation of hazardous waste from developed to less developed countries without a permit. Australia doesn’t have a permit to export to Ghana – this is illegal. According to Dateline, the Government has launched an investigation since ‘Giovanna’s Story’ was published.

As always, more needs to be done. As Lexie discussed in her last post, exporting e-waste shouldn’t happen. Unfortunately, as of yet, Australia doesn’t have enough recycling resources on shore, to take on recycling all of our electronic waste. This makes our role of raising awareness, and promoting the correct and ethical ways of recycling batteries all the more important.

So please, reduce, reuse, and recycle your batteries.

What are your thoughts on this issue?

 

 Lilly

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2 thoughts on “What Happened to the Basel Convention, Australia?

  1. What an incredibly frightening and sad story. Your personal account was very touching, I can’t image how you feel. I completely agree that Australia should do more to uphold the conventions that they sign otherwise what is the point. And I think that most Australians aren’t connected with the damage that their buying habits create. We definitely need to do more to bring transparency to this system.

    • Thanks thenewstandard. Making people more aware of the current situation is what we are trying to do here at Recharge the Environment. I didn’t know the harmful affect of batteries and e-waste until earlier this year which is terrible. Education and transparency are vital in making changes.

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