New Zealand premiere about the illegal recycling of electronics is a toxic business on a global scale. This documentary seeks for answers as three-quarters of the waste keeps mysteriously disappearing from the recycling system.
Every year, up to 50 million tons of electronic waste - computers, television sets, mobile phones, household appliances - are discarded in the developed world. 75% of this waste disappears from the legal recycling circuits, with much of it being shipped illegally to India, China or Africa. Illegal recycling and waste dumping is a multi-million dollar business, polluting the environment and destroying the lives and health of those forced to live with it.
This film takes the viewer on a breathtaking journey of investigation to Europe, China, Africa and the US. It reveals how the European recycling system, ruined by lack of controls, greed and corruption, leaks like a sieve to shady international exporters; how harbour officials in Europe and Asia are fighting a losing battle against the immense volume of e-waste crossing the oceans; why the US are the biggest exporter in the world; and how whole cities in China are drowning in our discarded appliances, where they are recycled with a total disregard for the environment or the future. As a result, recycled and damaged computer chips are creeping into the production of electronics that control key aspects of our lives, such as public transport, creating a huge security risk in the process.
Can the toxic tide be stemmed, or are too many people willingly turning a blind eye?
Discuss the issue with David McMillan, Solid Waste and Recycling Officer, Manawatu District Council.