The electrical and electronic waste generated by consumers in developed economies is often illegally exported to countries such as India, Ghana, or Nigeria, where it is inadequately treated in ways that harm local populations. A number of developed economies have constituted legislation to address current increases in electronic waste. The European Union and the United Kingdom (UK) have, for example, adopted the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) Directive. Despite this Directive, there are still significant environmental and health impacts experienced in the aforementioned recipient countries. Different approaches to address this problem are apparent; though, each approach comes with significant financial costs that are linked to investments in facilities, such as recycling infrastructure. The authors of this article aim to add to the understanding of the problem and to enhance the literature by seeking answers to two key questions: (1) Are consumers of electronic goods willing to bear the costs of proper disposal? and (2) To what extent does information influence electronic goods consumers’ willingness to pay (WTP)? Using the contingent valuation method (CVM), the authors developed four hypothetical market scenarios outlining different strategies to tackle the electronic waste treatment problem. These scenarios were then tested on a representative sample of the UK population. The findings of this study show a decrease in median WTP after information was provided in each treatment. In addition, the results from the regression analysis suggest a positive correlation between information and WTP for scenarios where the proceeds of the electronic waste tax are used in a way that is personally relevant to the consumer.
Assab, Abderrahim; Imirziadis, Alexandra; Heintzman, Laura; and Rahardjo, Astrid
"The Illegal Trade of Electronic and Electrical Waste: Should WEEE Pay to Avoid the Environmental and Public Health Costs? The Case of the United Kingdom,"
The Journal of International Relations, Peace Studies, and Development: Vol. 3
, Article 7.
Available at: http://scholarworks.arcadia.edu/agsjournal/vol3/iss1/7