Is it all going to waste? Illegal transports of e-waste in a European trade hub

Bisschop, Lieselot
October 2012
Crime, Law & Social Change;Oct2012, Vol. 58 Issue 3, p221
Academic Journal
This article responds to the call for more empirical knowledge about transnational environmental crime. It does so by analysing the case of illegal transports of electronic waste (e-waste) in a European trade hub. Given the complexity and global nature of transnational environmental crime, it is difficult to determine which actors are involved. In this regard, a local research setting allows the actors involved in illegal transports of e-waste to be identified. This research tries to determine whether these actors and their roles can be considered legal or illegal and illustrates the legal-illegal interfaces in e-waste flows. Moreover, this case study analyses the push, pull and facilitating factors and therefore looks at what motivations and opportunities shape the flows of e-waste in locations of origin, transit and destination. The results show that the social organisation and emergence of transnational environmental crime is on a thin line between legal and illegal which needs to be contextualised within the global reality of the locations of origin, transit and destination.


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