Parallel Session – Let’s Act: Integrating Decent Work in Effective Collection and Recycling of End-of-Use Electronics

Friday, 16 April, 11:15 – 12:15 CEST, Channel 2

This session will explore solutions for effective collection of end-of-use electronics and getting them to sorting, dismantling or recycling facilities with high environmental and safety standards in order to safeguard human health, reduce pollution, create decent jobs and retain value in the local value chain. The session will set the scene in Africa, with reflections from other regions.

Currently, less than 5% (in many parts <1%) of end of use electronics is formally recycled in Africa. Most ends up in informal recycling, in which only some of the valuable metals are extracted, often with hazardous methods, and the rest discarded or burned, causing severe health and environmental damage. The key challenge is how to more effectively channel end-of-use electronics collected mostly by informal waste collectors to recycling operations with high environmental and social standards. There are currently few high-standard processing facilities in Africa and the implementation of and Extended Producer Responsibility schemes (EPR) is still limited, but there are a number of initiatives in e.g. Nigeria, Ghana and Rwanda. Established formal, high-standard operations in Africa often struggle to compete with informal recycling, which incurs much lower costs.

This session will explore the solution to effectively channel collected end-of-use electronics for high-standard recycling, while advancing decent work particularly for the informal sector. The session will set the scene in Africa, with reflections from outside the region.

Speakers include:

  • H.E. Mr Mohammad Mahmood Abubakar, Minister of Environment, Nigeria
  • H.E. Mr Norbert Barthle, Parliamentary State Secretaryof the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, Germany
  • Ms Martha E. Newton, Deputy Director-General for Policy at the International Labour Organization
  • Joost de Kluijver, Chief Executive Officer at Closing the Loop
  • Kan Matsuzaki, Director ICT Electrical and Electronics, Shipbuilding and Shipbreaking of the IndustriALL Global Union
  • Carola van Rijnsoever, Director Inclusive Green Growth, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Netherlands
  • Sophie van den Enk, Moderator

Other sessions on WCEF+Climate day 2