GPS Trackers Reveal More Canadian e-Waste Exported to Developing Countries

Call for Canada to Adopt Basel Export Ban Amendment

The global waste watchdog group Basel Action Network (BAN) released its findings today of a year-long study that involved placing GPS trackers hidden inside of 43 pieces of computing equipment and then, mimicking the expected actions of Canadian consumers, handing them over to official collection depots and processors across Canada. BAN then monitored the devices, tracking some of them offshore to Asia. 

The BAN study, entitled "Illegal Export of e-Waste from Canada: A Story as Told by GPS Trackers" found that 7 (16%) of the devices were exported in what are likely to be illegal shipments. Four of the devices were exported to developing countries (Pakistan and Hong Kong) in likely violation of the Basel Convention to which Canada is a party. Three of the exported devices were handled by one Canadian recycler, the Electronics Recycling Association (ERA). 

"The exports we found should have never happened," said Jim Puckett, BAN's founder, and Executive Director. "This discovery could represent 116,000 metric tonnes per year if we extrapolate the results. It is imperative therefore that the Canadian Government conduct a full investigation based on our findings and begin to more credibly enforce the Basel Convention."