DEFRA officials have received briefings from the Environment Agency about reports of exports of waste electrical and electronic equipment from various sources to African countries. The Environment Agency is undertaking further investigations into alleged breaches of the waste shipment controls. It is not appropriate to comment on any specific investigations while they are ongoing.
The illegal export of waste is completely unacceptable and that is why DEFRA has provided funding to the Environment Agency to step up its enforcement efforts to deter this activity and catch those responsible. The rules are clear—the export of scrap TVs or scrap computer monitors to Africa is illegal. Such activity is not only potentially harmful to the environment but it also undermines the good work of legitimate charities which provide working electrical equipment to communities in developing countries.