E-Waste Watchdog "Basel Action" Re-Publishes Discredited Data

Basel Action Network publishes another press release that another liberal California city has adapted their "E-Stewards" label, committing to using only companies which pay a percentage of their revenues to the Watchdog.

Notable is the following reprinted statistic:

Placentia, California Joins Effort to Tackle Electronic Waste
E-waste is the world’s fastest growing pollution problem. According to Time Magazine, Americans throw out more than 350,000 cell phones and 130,000 computers every day. Approximately 80% of electronic waste currently delivered to recyclers is actually exported to developing countries. Improperly disposed of, the lead, mercury and other toxic materials inside e-waste can poison workers and pollute communities.
The stastistic in red was challenged in this blog in 2010, and the original source of BAN's statistic came forward (via comments) that the statistic on exports included clean steel, baled plastic, copper and other items - i.e. inert items, and the same materials produced by E-Stewards.

At the time of that blog, the ASU Study (Williams/Kahhat) had been published finding 87% of computers exported to Peru were reused.    Since then, a much larger study by UNEP (2011) found that 85% of the electronics imported into Africa are reused.

BAN also buried its own study from Kenya which estimated that 90% of the material was reused.

What's at the dumps?  According to the United Nations and everyone else, the dumps in Africa are full of e-waste generated by Africans, and the dumps in China are full of e-waste generated by Chinese.

80% of the material at the dumps does NOT come from imported waste.
80% of the material exported is NOT toxic waste (it includes reuse and clean steel).

This is a lie which was challenged years ago, but it's still on BAN's website, it's still in the CBS 60 Minutes Wasteland story at CBS Online, it's still repeated everywhere.

Perhaps... hmm... it's unclear if you parse the words... perhaps they are now only saying that "if" improperly disposed of... perhaps they mean 80% is exported, some of it to fantastic, positive, truthful, fair trade programs like this one (below).   But... that's not allowed in California, and its specifically banned now in the E-Steward city the article praises...

Fair Trade Recycling International August 2011

They do not know what they are talking about, and they are making it up as they go along.   They reprint proven false "data" with impunity.   And no one calls them on it.  Yeah, I tried being friends with this group from 2002-2006.   But they lie and lie and lie and lie. And they benefit financially from the lies, and they don't share a dime with the "polluted" areas they claim to champion.  It's outrageous.

Yet this organization makes a claim against a company - PT Imtech in Indonesia, or Intercon in Chicago Heights - and it does injury.  They have a conflict of interest and no credible data to back up their claims.  The containers came back from Indonesia with the seals still on them, and BAN claimed they were turned away by Indonesian officials who discovered the "hazardous waste" inside.  Indonesia responded to a complaint by BAN that said the containers contained hazardous waste, and sent them back unopened.

It's a witch hunt.    Stop it.

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