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eZombie Invasion: The scary reality of Mexico’s e-waste problem

Friday, August 28, 2015 11:34
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eZombies are on the rise in Mexico.

Mexico is suffering from a silent invasion: the invasion of the eZombies. From beyond the grave, millions of toxic electronics are threatening the health of Mexico’s rivers, food and its people. The United Nations University estimates that, in 2014, Mexico generated 1 million tonnes of potentially hazardous electronic waste. That is 8.2kg per person. Even scarier, only 10% of these eZombies are dealt with in the right way. Another 50% are left to pollute people and the planet via informal recycling or dumping sites.

Mexico’s current e-waste situation is bad. But unless we act now, it could get a whole lot worse. 

The Switch

This year, Mexico is switching from an analogue to digital TV signal, a necessary technological advance. However, it is estimated that this switch could lead to the dumping of some 40 million old televisions—most of which contain lead, mercury or brominated flame-retardants. The Mexican government has created a plan to deal with these new TV eZombies on paper, but it lacks the basic who, how, where and with what money each state in Mexico will deal with the invasion. Instead, the focus has been on giving away 10 million new TVs, yet more potential eZombies.

Unless we come together to stop this invasion, we could be facing a potentially nightmarish situation.

Fortunately there is still hope, and there is still time. Greenpeace Mexico is calling on the Secretary of Communications and Transport (SCT) to turn its paper plan into a reality before it’s too late. And we are assembling a crack team of #eZombieHunters to join us in tracking down and identifying eZombie TVs that have escaped containment, calling on the SCT to detain them and treat them.

E-Zombie Apocalypse Action in Mexico 21 Aug, 2015 © Arturo Rocha / Aerofilms / GreenpeaceTwo Greenpeace Mexico activists unveiled a banner at the Muelle de Los Muertos in Puerto Vallarta reading “Peligro: eZombies fuera de control” (Danger: eZombies out of control).

Worldwide eZombie Detox

The invasion has begun in Mexico, but this is a global problem with a global solution.

What if our electronics didn’t turn into eZombies? What if our TVs, our computers, our phones and our clothes were not made with these dangerous chemicals in the first place? In Mexico and around the world, millions of Detox warriors, #eZombieHunters, online activists and everyday people are joining the fight for a future free of toxic chemicals.

Help spread the word about what is happening in Mexico on your social media channels with the hashtag #eZombies, and join the global Detox movement to create a cleaner planet for our future generations.

Robin Perkins is the Detox Programme Leader at Greenpeace México.


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