Tweedle Dumb "E-Waste" Policy

Export Market One accepts tested working product 4 years old, which it sells for $105.  The factory sells the computers directly, but also takes back the computers when they are finished for de-manufactuing, generating circuit boards, plastic, power supplies, and CRT glass.

Export Market Number Two accepts identical tested working product 4 years old.  But before they resell the PCs, they remove the circuit board and replace it with a board that makes the computer work as both a TV as well as a computer, and causing the PC to work longer before it needs to be taken back and demanufactured.  They also electively upgrade all of the memory, video cards, etc.

??? Mais c'est bete ca !
Both factories generate and recycle the exact same circuit boards, plastic, and power supplies, and recycle them properly.  The main difference is that Export Market Two is much larger than Market One, and produces the PCs at $65 each, selling them in third party countries and creating more jobs.

Basel Action Networks's position is that Export Market One is superior and legal, and that Export Market Two is polluting and illegal.  The circuit boards, power supplies, etc. are identical, the end markets are identical.  WR3A encourages and assists both Export Markets.  Neither market releases pollution.

These are the people who have declared themselves Stewards for the developing world?:  People who don't know how to fix stuff, writing rules for those who do.  Lewis Carroll would be proud.

I would like to invite EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson, and also the head of the Ethiopia "ewaste" factory, to visit our friends at Export Market Number 2.  I'm sure the heads of both factories will make good friends, possibly resulting in more jobs and investment in Export Factory Number One.   Required Reading:  Seven posts this week (I've seen 5 so far) by Adam Minter of, who is posting for The Atlantic's James Fallows.

Adam has focused on how even the bottom of the recycling food chain has seeds of hope, something I tried to point out many times, with less effect than Adam has achieved.  See the woman at the bottom of the post ("ewaste" travel in scrap metal, one of the top 20) who is cutting wire casings off of copper wire by hand in China, ten years ago, and compare it with the photos Adam has taken more recently.  Contrast it to any photo in any search of the terms "lead mining pollution".  Mining never seems to get better.  Give recycling a chance, turn off the friendly fire.

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