New Study Defining a Strategy for Responsibly Managing EOL Solar Lamps

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New Study Defining a Strategy for Responsibly Managing EOL Solar Lamps

The off-grid lighting industry acknowledges the environmental and health issues that could result from the irresponsible disposal of end-of-life (EOL) solar lighting appliances, and is committed to handling such products in a sustainable manner (see the GOGLA industry opinion on recycling here). However, missing infrastructure and regulation in developing countries make it challenging for the industry to collect electronic waste. A study on solar lamp recycling is now addressing this challenge and analyzes opportunities for the collection and recycling of spent products in Kenya and Cameroon. The study was co-published by Awango by Total, GIZ and conducted by Altai Consulting. Although, solar lanterns, referenced in the study, are not classified as toxic waste by international law, their components could still impose risks for the environment and human health if not treated responsibly at the end of their useful life. The recently published study defines a strategy for sustainably managing EOL lamps, in a way that prevents the dispersion of substances that may be harmful for the environment and human health. This strategy is derived from evaluations of the institutional framework and the existing collection infrastructure in Kenya and Cameroon, and an analysis of the value proposition an EOL solar lamp has for local recyclers. As a next step are presented a number of recommendations to boost e-waste collection, including the integration of EOL solar lamp collection into existing distribution networks of solar companies. For more information on the recycling strategies and the current situation in Kenya and Cameroon, please read the study here.

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