The U.S. is the most wasteful country in the world – Americans produce the most e-waste per person.
For some historical context on the effect this has had on the rest of the world, the Global Reporting Centre’s Allison Griner tells us about the small Chinese town of Guiyu, which once gained international notoriety as a graveyard for American electronics.
For years, Guiyu was where many of our junked TVs, laptops, phones and other unwanted electronics ended up. Once that stuff got there, workers dismantled it by hand and released poisonous chemicals into the atmosphere. Chinese and international environmentalists tried to stop this illegal and toxic business for years. In 2015, they finally succeeded: The Chinese government said it no longer would allow e-waste from other countries into Guiyu.