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Informal Electronic Waste Recycling in Pakistan
KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Sustainable development, Environmental science and Engineering, Environmental Strategies Research (fms).
2015 (English)Licentiate thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The aim of this thesis was to study governance aspects of informal electronic waste recycling and to provide better knowledge of the business in terms of structure, stakeholders, governance aspects and social impacts.

The thesis consists of a cover essay and two papers appended at the end of the thesis. The cover essay summarizes the papers and puts them in context. The objective of Paper I is to study the business of informal electronic waste recycling in Pakistan and highlight its governance issues. Paper II assesses the social impacts of this business using UNEP-SETAC Guidelines.

The thesis examines these specific questions: Q1) What is the current situation of informal e-waste recycling in Pakistan? Q2) Who are the important stakeholders and what are their roles in this business? Q3) What are the governance issues enabling this informal business? Q4) What are the social impacts for individuals and society arising from this business?

Paper I presents the international and local e-waste flows, business structure, the stakeholders involved and the existing governance issues of the business. It shows weak enforcement of legislation, the complexities emerging with numerous stakeholders, the profitability of informal recycling, little concern for the health damaging exposure for workers from poorest and most vulnerable people in society, and the lack of awareness of the hazards involved results in several governance issues. The paper also highlights how this business lacks characteristics of good governance, which makes it a challenge to control this business.

Paper II assesses the social impacts of informal e-waste recycling in Pakistan using UNEP/SETAC guidelines for conducting a Social Lifecycle Analysis (SLCA). It showed that this business has positive impacts relating to societal issues and individual/family economics, and in the economic development of Pakistan but otherwise most impacts were negative. The findings of Paper II fill an important data gap and can be integrated with data on other stages of ICT product lifecycle to produce a full SLCA of such products.

Abstract [sv]

Syftet med denna avhandling var att studera styrningsaspekter informella återvinning elektroniskt avfall och för att ge bättre kunskap om verksamheten i fråga om struktur, intressenter, styrningsaspekter och sociala konsekvenser.

Avhandlingen består av en täck uppsats och två tidningar bifogade i slutet av uppsatsen. Locket uppsats samman tidningarna och sätter dem i sitt sammanhang. Syftet med papper I är att studera verksamheten i informella återvinning elektroniskt avfall i Pakistan och belysa dess styrningsfrågor. Papper II bedömer de sociala konsekvenserna av denna verksamhet med hjälp av UNEP-SETAC riktlinjer.

Avhandlingen undersöker dessa specifika frågor: Q1) Vad är den nuvarande situationen för informella återvinnings e-avfall i Pakistan? Q2) Vilka är de viktigaste intressenterna och vilka är deras roller i den här branschen? Q3) Vilka styrningsfrågor som möjliggör denna informella företag? Q4) Vilka är de sociala konsekvenserna för enskilda och samhället som följer av detta företag?

Papper I presenterar internationella och lokala e-avfallsflöden, företagsstruktur, de inblandade aktörerna och de befintliga styrningsfrågor i verksamheten. Det visar en svag tillämpning av lagstiftningen, komplexiteten växande med många intressenter, lönsamheten för informella återvinning, lite oro för hälsan skadliga exponering för arbetstagare från de fattigaste och mest utsatta människorna i samhället, och bristen på medvetenhet om de risker inblandade resultaten i flera styrningsfrågor. Papperet belyser också hur denna verksamhet saknar egenskaper för god förvaltning, vilket gör det till en utmaning att styra denna verksamhet.

Papper II bedömer de sociala konsekvenserna av informella återvinnings e-avfall i Pakistan använder UNEP / SETAC riktlinjer för att genomföra en social livscykelanalys (SLCA). Det visade sig att denna verksamhet har positiva effekter avseende samhällsfrågor och individ / familj ekonomi, och i den ekonomiska utvecklingen i Pakistan men annars de flesta effekterna var negativa. Resultaten av pappers II fyller ett viktigt tomrum uppgifter och kan integreras med uppgifter om andra stadier av IKT produktlivscykeln för att producera en full SLCA av sådana produkter.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: KTH Royal Institute of Technology, 2015. , 85 p.
Series
TRITA-INFRA-FMS-LIC, 2015:01
Keyword [en]
Electronic Waste, Pakistan, Informal recycling, governance, Social Life Cycle Assessment (SLCA)
National Category
Environmental Management
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-167975ISBN: 978-91-7595-574-2 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-167975DiVA: diva2:813604
Presentation
2015-06-02, Sal L51, Drottning Kristinas Väg 30, KTH, Stockholm, 06:52 (Swedish)
Opponent
Supervisors
Note

QC 20150525

Available from: 2015-05-25 Created: 2015-05-24 Last updated: 2015-05-25Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Social impact assessment of informal recycling of electronic ICT waste in Pakistan using UNEP SETAC guidelines
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Social impact assessment of informal recycling of electronic ICT waste in Pakistan using UNEP SETAC guidelines
2015 (English)In: Resources, Conservation and Recycling, ISSN 0921-3449, E-ISSN 1879-0658, Vol. 95, 46-57 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

New and improved Information and Communication Technology (ICT) is being produced every day. With every new product on the market, an older product becomes obsolete. These obsolete products are being added to the world's fastest growing waste stream, ICT electronic waste (e-waste). This is formally recycled in developed countries, stockpiled, landfilled or shipped to developing countries, such as Pakistan, here it is recycled informally through crude processes (e.g. manual dismantling, burning, dumping and dipping in acids to extract gold and other precious metals). This study assessed the social impacts of informal e-waste recycling in Pakistan using data obtained in a detailed on-site inventory of the processes directly involved in informal e-waste recycling. The inventory and assessment were conducted according to United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) guidelines on Social Life Cycle Assessment (SLCA). The results presented in this paper fill an important data gap and can be integrated with data on other stages of ICT product lifecycle to produce a full SLCA of such products.

Keyword
Electronic waste, Informal recycling, Social Life Cycle Assessment, Pakistan
National Category
Environmental Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-164004 (URN)10.1016/j.resconrec.2014.11.008 (DOI)000350706800004 ()2-s2.0-84920148522 (Scopus ID)
Note

QC 20150423

Available from: 2015-04-23 Created: 2015-04-13 Last updated: 2017-12-04Bibliographically approved
2. Informal electronic waste recycling in Pakista
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Informal electronic waste recycling in Pakista
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
National Category
Environmental Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-168020 (URN)
Note

QS 2015

Available from: 2015-05-25 Created: 2015-05-25 Last updated: 2015-05-25Bibliographically approved

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