The scourge of e-waste flowing into Thailand and other Southeast Asian nations is a direct impact of China’s dramatic decision to block waste imports in 2018.
Over the past two decades, China was considered the primary dumping ground for e-waste in the world.
Now that it has closed down its facilities and severely cracked down on all forms of waste imports,
companies like Wai Mei Dat have moved their operations to countries in Southeast Asia due to lax environmental regulations there.
However, e-waste imports into Southeast Asian states have seen an upward trend recently and the accumulation of these wastes has now become unmanageable.
Thailand is a major destination for such e-waste which has prompted fears of the long term detrimental effects on the environment there.
In the first five months of the year, it is estimated that 37,000 tons of e-waste entered the country with more believed to have come in illegally.
Thai authorities are now beefing up efforts to block further e-waste imports by conducting thorough inspections of the over 2,000 recycling factories in the country.