The Student News Site of Appalachian State University

The Appalachian

The Student News Site of Appalachian State University

The Appalachian

The Student News Site of Appalachian State University

The Appalachian

Newsletter Signup

Get our news delivered straight to your inbox every week.

* indicates required

Global North’s ‘donations’ prove to be harmful, careless

The+Appalachian+Online
The Appalachian Online

The Global North is “donating” old computer hardware and other miscellaneous used “goods” to the Global South, and the effect for those receiving the donations is deadly.

The Global North is generally includes North America, the developed parts of Asia and Western Europe, while the Global South consists of Africa, Latin America and the Middle East, among other non-developed areas of the world.

Ghana and Nigeria are two of the countries affected by the trend of “Global South dumping ground,” according to Greenpeace, a non-governmental environmental organization.

Greenpeace revealed that much of our electronic waste is being sent to undeveloped countries in Africa and Asia, often illegally.

European consumers create more than 8.7 million tons of E-waste every year and only a small amount of that is recycled, according to Consumers International, the world federation for consumer groups.

Once E-waste is sent overseas to the Global South, it most often can not be recycled because of the lack of resources and technology to do so. The  majority of these countries are not equipped with the systems that we have to recycle our waste.

The United States and Europe try to say that they are “donating” electronics such as old computers and monitors to these third-world countries, when in reality, only 25 percent of these “second-hand donations” work.

There are not only dangerous effects on the land and the environment, there are also gross repercussions for people’s overall life expectancy.

People are suffering major health issues from these electronic leftovers. Donations are not feeding hungry children – they are killing them. We are poisoning those already poor.

The computers’ cables are burnt to extract precious metals such as copper, but in the process, the fumes are proving to be fatal over time.

The fumes cause headaches and respiratory problems for workers who burn the trash, and not only the air is tainted but also the soils hold high levels of heavy metals. Lead and mercury have increasingly dangerous effects on developing nervous systems, specifically of children.

European regulations based on the Basel Convention explicitly forbid the export of hazardous waste from wealthy nations to developing countries, but the European Union has found a loophole in this.

The EU claims that what they send over is “secondhand goods” instead of hazardous waste, when in reality, only a small percentage of these “goods” are usable.

The Global North should be ashamed that it is hindering development in the Global South with its own selfishness and inconsiderate behavior.

We need to find some other way to get rid of our used computer hardware.

Burrows, a freshman journalism major from Mint Hill, is an opinion writer.

STORY: Lauren Burrows, Opinion Writer

Leave a Comment
Donate to The Appalachian
$1500
$5000
Contributed
Our Goal

We hope you appreciate this article! Before you move on, our student staff wanted to ask if you would consider supporting The Appalachian's award-winning journalism. We are celebrating our 90th anniversary of The Appalachian in 2024!

We receive funding from the university, which helps us to compensate our students for the work they do for The Appalachian. However, the bulk of our operational expenses — from printing and website hosting to training and entering our work into competitions — is dependent upon advertising revenue and donations. We cannot exist without the financial and educational support of our fellow departments on campus, our local and regional businesses, and donations of money and time from alumni, parents, subscribers and friends.

Our journalism is produced to serve the public interest, both on campus and within the community. From anywhere in the world, readers can access our paywall-free journalism, through our website, through our email newsletter, and through our social media channels. Our supporters help to keep us editorially independent, user-friendly, and accessible to everyone.

If you can, please consider supporting us with a financial gift from $10. We appreciate your consideration and support of student journalism at Appalachian State University. If you prefer to make a tax-deductible donation, or if you would prefer to make a recurring monthly gift, please give to The Appalachian Student News Fund through the university here: https://securelb.imodules.com/s/1727/cg20/form.aspx?sid=1727&gid=2&pgid=392&cid=1011&dids=418.15&bledit=1&sort=1.

Donate to The Appalachian
$1500
$5000
Contributed
Our Goal

Comments (0)

All The Appalachian Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *