Active maintenance of these web resources ceased in 2012 and they will not be updated. They are posted for archival purposes only.

Topic Title: What is the best strategy to have consistent environmental policies governing electronic products in a global market?
Topic Summary: Question posed to Oladele Ogunseitan.
Created On: 10/4/2007 10:16 AM

 10/4/2007 10:16 AM

Todd Osman

Posts: 219
Joined: 2/2/2007

Question posed by the Moderator to Oladele Ogunseitan: What is the best strategy, at this time, to have consistent environmental policies governing electronic products in a global manufacturing and retailing market?

Dr. Ogunseitan responded: That’s a very important question. I think I have tried to express the international dimensions of the science and the policy issues. We invited Dr. Tak Hur to join our team as a visiting professor because we really need to know what’s going on in Asia. We have collaborators in Europe, especially in Germany. One of the loopholes in the flow of electronic waste, for example, might be the imbalance in how different countries interpret the Basel Convention, which prohibits the shipment of hazardous waste from one country to another. The U.S. is not a signatory to Basel, although we are certainly not in support of polluting other countries. But there are political as well as other kinds of reasons for not signing onto the Basel Convention. But ultimately, we all have to get together either through the United Nations Environment program and address the e-waste issue directly. Tak, of course, will assist in the approach that has been going on until now. At the US level, too, the EPA needs to take leadership there are all kinds of positions and studies, but it’s time to get together all the 50 states and say we don’t want loopholes where recyclers are able to go in one state and ship overseas without some sort of federal oversight. I think we need to have consistencies, not only in methodologies for accepting hazardous materials in providing guidance to manufacturers on what to eliminate and what levels we can support. I think in a way the European Union had tried to do this but we still have to see how that will come out. But it is time now for global meeting on this.

5500 Corporate Drive Suite 750, Pittsburgh, PA 15237 USA (directions)
Telephone 800-759-4867 (U.S. and Canada)
724-776-9000 (elsewhere)
Fax 724-776-3770 ·Email