E-waste: what’s it to you?

The fridge where you stored mom’s casserole.

The TV where you watched the finale of your favourite series.

The smartphone you used to take a video of your pet messing around.

These and so many more electrical and electronic devices have become integral parts of our daily routines. Over the course of many years, we invest money and time in them, but what do we do when they no longer work?

If you just throw them away, know that you are contributing to the massive issue of e-waste pollution, which has dire effects on people and the Earth’s ecosystems.

Much of e-waste contains toxic materials, such as mercury or lead, which permeate in the environment. In addition, more often than not, it is being processed informally, placing people’s lives in immediate danger.

The Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal is the world’s leading multilateral environmental agreement that tackles the e-waste problem. In June 2022, the Basel Convention announced its decision to enforce the E-waste Amendments, which will legally bind the Convention’s 190 Parties to minimise the generation of e-waste, strictly control its transboundary movement, and ensure its environmentally sound management.

In anticipation of the entry into force of the E-waste Amendments in 2025, we would like to hear from you why electrical and electronic devices should be disposed of in an environmentally sound manner. Using no more than 300 words in English, share with us a story focused on the life cycle of an electric or electronical device that you have owned. Explain to us why it has been special to you, and what became of it when it was no longer working.

The top three stories will be announced in December 2022 and will be adapted into animated videos premiering during the 16th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Basel Convention (Basel COP16), which will take place in Geneva, Switzerland in May 2023.

Please join us in a round of applause for our three winners:

  •  Meher Nishat from Qatar
  •  Adeyeye Olakunle from Nigeria
  •  Stephanie P. Dayaganon from the Philippines

Invitation and winners announcement