- It's legal for Southeast Asia to mine metals for our electronics.
- It's legal for Southeast Asia to smelt and refine metals for our electronics.
- It's legal for Southeast Asia to manufacture our electronic components.
- It's legal for Southeast Asia to assemble our electronic components.
- It's legal for Southeast Asia to buy and sell new electronic components.
We even agree Southeast Asia can generate, repair, and dispose and recycle their own electronic components, and that those outnumber anything being imported.
What we disagree on is whether the factories which made the electronics can take them back again and reassemble, repair, and refurbish them. Under Basel Convention Annex IX, WR3A contends that manufacturer take back factories are legal.
If they are not legal, what does "Electronics Take Back Coalition" mean? Is it a Twighlight Zone meaning, like "To Serve Man"? ETBC was one of the most fervent in attacking PT Imtech of Semarang, Malaysia, a manufacturer of TVs that was taking back TVs and monitors from the USA.
I hope one of these days more of our friends in the environmental community will realize that "with great power comes great responsibility".
When I have told you that I've been to a factory and it's an environmental success story, and you wind up closing that factory down, and more mining and disposal results, at higher environmental and social cost, you need to check out whether it's true or not. The fact you are a "non-profit" does not absolve you of harming people and the environment in the name of defending yourselves.
I am not attacking these organizations. I'm giving them truthful advice. I am defending good people.
Here is the first of several taped interviews with a factory worker in Indonesia, explaining to WR3A how he got a job repairing and refurbishing computer monitors from the USA. At its peak, the largest Indonesia manufacturing takeback facility had 1500 employees and repaired 5,000 CRTs per day, 3 shifts per day, 7 days per week. We gave them incentives, and they got ISO14001, and they began to properly recycle "fallout". One of our partners now takes back junk electronics from schools and towns (they still have an import permit, but no longer want us to promote them by name, and I have removed photos that show their name and address).
INDONESIAN TECHNICIAN INTERVIED BY WR3A - #1