The amount of generated e-waste opens the gates for informal recovery. Documented collection and recovery (recycling) in accordance with developed country regulations accounts for only a third of generated e-waste. The rest find their way to the landfills of the underdeveloped world, the most famous being the case of the Agbogbloshie landfill in Ghana’s capital, Accra, where around 80.000 men, women and children are dependent on trash coming from developed countries. Due to open incineration, these informal processors, bystanders and the entire food chain are subject to many adverse health effects. A well-known example is the dioxin content of a wild chicken egg, which is more than 200 times the European Food Safety Authority’s limit.
Since China banned waste imports in 2018, recovery has moved to neighboring countries, notably Thailand and Malaysia.