Impacts of the influx of e-waste into Hong Kong after China has tightened up entry regulations

Siyi Lin, Yu Bon Man, Ka Lai CHOW, Chunmiao Zheng, Ming Hung WONG*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)


China was the world’s largest importer of e-waste in the 2000s, with e-waste entering the country via different pathways. It was treated informally by using primitive techniques. Since the 2010s, the quantities of illegal importation have been gradually decreasing as China started to amend and enforce the importation ban policy. The amount of imported e-waste is predicted to disappear in the coming decades if China keeps to her stringent enforcements. Being a Special Administrative Region (SAR) of China, Hong Kong (HK) pursues an independent judiciary, rule of law and retains a free trading policy. As such, a substantial amount of e-waste has entered HK, and is stored in the northern part of the New Territories (NT). Some of the e-waste has been dismantled and recycled, jeopardizing the local environmental and the human health of this increasingly affluent city. This article reviews the effects of the new movement of global e-waste, to find out whether the same mistakes made in China are being repeated in HK, in particular, the environmental and health impacts of recycling e-waste. In addition, the management strategies to deal with the problems in this densely populated city are also summarized. (Figure presented.).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)105-134
Number of pages30
JournalCritical Reviews in Environmental Science and Technology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 17 Jan 2020

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Pollution

User-Defined Keywords

  • Environmental and health impacts
  • global movement
  • Hong Kong soils
  • soil remediation


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