Every year, up to 50 million tons of electronic waste – computers, television sets, mobile phones, household appliances – are discarded in the developed world. 75% of this waste disappears from the legal recycling circuits, with much of it being shipped illegally to India, China or Africa.
Illegal recycling and waste dumping is a multi-million dollar business, polluting the environment and destroying the lives and health of those forced to live with it.
This film takes the viewer on a breathtaking journey of investigation to Europe, China, Africa and the US. It reveals how the European recycling system, plagued by lack of controls, greed and corruption, leaks like a sieve to shady international exporters; how harbour officials in Europe and Asia are fighting a losing battle against the immense volume of e-waste crossing the oceans; why the US are the biggest exporter in the world; and how whole cities in China are literally drowning in our discarded appliances, where they are recycled with a total disregard for the environment or the future.
As a result, recycled and damaged computer chips are creeping into the production lines of electronics that control key aspects of our lives, such as public transport, creating a huge security risk in the process.
Can the toxic tide be stemmed, or are too many people willingly turning a blind eye?