Wednesday, November 06, 2013

Blog 9: Ghana accused Environcom on illegal imports

Summary: Environcom, one of the UK’s largest recycling companies, has imported thousands of second hand fridges into the West African country of Ghana. The company has been openly disregarding the regulations in place to protect the country from harmful chemicals. Representatives admit exported the recycled fridges to Ghana but claim that they did so before the rule was set. The situation gets sticky when the company continues on to say that a delay in transportation caused a shipment to arrive later, after the rule was put in place. The ban was fueled by the fear of overwhelming toxic waste from the old electrical units. “The Guardian has seen an email exchange between Environcom and the Ghanaian authorities in which the company threatened to withdraw plans to invest in a recycling plant in the country if it was not allowed to import parts from second-hand fridges.” Authorities say that even now after the story is out, they’re are still dumping the refrigerators on the country.

Analysis: Environcom is obviously aware of the broken rules. They will cheat, lie, and spin their way out of having to clean up their act, unless they are specifically prevented from doing so by environmental legislation. The company claims to be negotiating or seeking clarity in the laws concerning exports of recycled electrical units. This denial might be taken more seriously if it weren’t for the pre-existing accusations on the company for wrongful waste dumping in Africa. “Earlier this year company director Sean Feeney, a former senior Dixons executive, admitted Environcom had exported old-fashioned cathode-ray tube TVs to Africa when they became "hazardous" products, which could not be safely disposed of.” The British recycling company continues exploiting poor countries to put up with environmental dangers to save face with the uninformed people of the UK. Local environments are becoming more and more toxic with the illegal dumping. The impoverished people living around these areas are being exposed and are living in harmful pollution. Ghana plans to file a complaint to the EU in response.

Addie McKay
4:30 pm

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