The effects of transnational manufacturing & services

The aim of this section is to be able to discuss the reasons for and consequences of the relocation of polluting industries [such as the e-waste recycling industry] and waste disposal [e-waste] to countries with weaker environmental controls and safety regulations.

Read this story from The Guardian about the issue of mobile phone waste and how manufacturers like Apple & Samsung are being encouraged to take a more sustainable approach.

Designed for the dump:

Historical examples illustrating how the globalisation of industry allows exploitation of different laws (e.g. environmental) include the 1984 Union Carbide accident in Bhopal, and the Trafigura incident 2006.



e-waste in Ghana – geography

Where does e-waste go?


Focus on China:

Unused e-waste discarded in China raises questions 2012 BBC


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Case study – Rare Earth metals, Baotou, Inner Mongolia

NASA images showing impact of mining and processing rare earth metals

Daily Mail – Rare earth metals used in wind turbine generators

The Guardian – Rare Earth metals from China – Environmental consequences

Prepare an answer to this exam question:

“Polluting industries are relocated away from developed nations, for purely financial reasons.” Discuss this statement [15 marks]

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