Electronic waste, or 'e-waste', has become a significant
international environmental enforcement challenge. Each year,
hundreds of thousands of used electronic items –
containing highly toxic substances like lead, mercury and cadmium
– are shipped across the world.
Some provinces, like B.C., Alberta, Manitoba and Ontario, have
e-waste recycling programs to encourage residents to get rid of
used electronics in an environmentally responsible manner. Canada
has also stepped up enforcement of its regulations on the export of used
electronics. However, large amounts of e-waste continue to be
exported to developing nations, where they are highly in demand as
sources of valuable raw materials and for conversion to other
products. However, poor environmental standards in the receiving
countries often lead to pollution when the electronics are
dismantled or burned.
Actions to strengthen transboundary e-waste enforcement across
North America are now underway. From August 16-17, the Commission
for Environmental Cooperation (CEC) Council met in Guanajuato,
Mexico for their 17th annual meeting. The Council
presented the proposed Strategic Plan 2010-2015 which sets
forth three new priorities that will ensure the protection of North
America's shared environment:
Healthy Communities and Ecosystems;
Climate Change – Low-Carbon Economy; and
Greening the Economy in North America.
Managing the movement of used electronics and other e-wastes
falls under the third priority. With help from the Hazardous Waste
Tracking System (HWTS), the CEC has begun to develop technology to
improve their ability to detect and restrain illegal trades of
electronic waste in North America.
Paper-based tracking systems were originally used, but struggled
to succeed due to delays in sending export requests and consent
Under the new system, governments will be able to more quickly
and effectively provide data to enforcement officials.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
To print this article, all you need is to be registered on Mondaq.com.
Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.
Ontario's Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change continues to roll out its Climate Change Action Plan with its proposed GHG guide for projects that are subject to the province's Environmental Assessment Act.
The Imperial Oil refinery pled guilty to one offence for discharging a contaminant, coker stabilizer, thermocracked gas, into the natural environment causing an adverse effect and was fined $650,000...
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).