I have put several posts on our "Fair Trade" program. WR3A finds contract assembly factories, usually for monitors (though we have also worked with computer power supply and drive refurbishers). We offer them incentives to allow audits of their processes, and financial rewards (cheaper goods) if the factory gets ISO14001, changes downstream management of scrap, etc.
After several years of progress, improving jobs and lives and costs of recycling, we are hearing that some of the factories want to go back "underground". While they have put in CRT glass processing, gotten ISO, etc., the word on the street is that Basel Action Network's new tactic is to write to the government of every country which has contract assembly, accuse the factories of illegal operation, and attempt to get legal factories declared illegal.
WR3A has just had a factory cancel a second visit, citing fear that our auditing and reporting would disclose their operation and cause their permits to be revoked. Will "Green Arrogance" defeat fair trade? Has "stewardship" become an autoimmunity disorder?
After BAN's letter to the Malaysian government (below, under the John Stewart Daily Show clip), which specifically questioned the legality of Samsung Corning's use of USA CRT glass cullet in a glass-to-glass process, and which immediately preceded the closing of that market - who can blame them? War on drugs, war on abortion, prohibition... and the refurbishing business is not even a vice, it's a good thing...
BAN objects to any insinuation they had something to do with Samsung Corning's halt to importing USA CRT glass. They have threatened me, in fact, for saying they had everything to do with it.
BAN has many good points to make. The export business needs to be reformed, and I have long applauded BAN for their role in reducing "toxics along for the ride". But while the export business needs to be reformed, BAN is attacking repair and refurbishing businesses, and CRT glass-to-glass operations, and the only beneficiaries are mining and disposal. To borrow a phrase from John Stewart's Daily Show, aimed at Fox News, BAN is "producing way to many antibodies". BAN is, in fact, attacking legitimate recyclers left and right, and driving the market back underground. BAN is the lupus of environmentalism.
(skip to 6min mark, "crazy overreaction to that perceived threat")
BAN Letter to Malaysia DOE protesting CRT cullet recycling imports