Zhang Xuedong, a deputy to the National People's Congress (NPC),
China's parliament, has appealed to enact a law to regulate the
nation's rapidly increasing electronic garbage.
Electronic waste pollution has become a problem as the lifespans
of electronic products were greatly shortened over the past few
years, Zhang said on the sidelines of NPC's annual session.
He said at least five million computers, ten million cell
phones, five million television sets, and four million
refrigerators are out of use each year in China.
Meanwhile, a report from the State Environmental Protection
Administration says 70 percent of the electronic waste in the world
is imported into China each year, and 90 percent of such waste is
broken down in small workshops.
Experts believe the workshops tend to apply very basic
technology, therefore large amounts of dangerous materials and
heavy metals like lead, chromium, and mercury end up getting
released into their surroundings.
"The waste severely pollutes the soil, underground water, and
air, and harms people's health," Zhang said.
He also suggested that the law stipulate compulsory recycling of
electronic garbage for the sake of saving resources, noting that
most developed countries have laws that require the manufacturers
of electronics to be responsible for the disposal and recycling of
(Xinhua News Agency March 16, 2007)