Crime, Law and Social Change

, Volume 58, Issue 3, pp 221–249

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


DOI: 10.1007/s10611-012-9383-0

Cite this article as:
Bisschop, L. Crime Law Soc Change (2012) 58: 221. doi:10.1007/s10611-012-9383-0


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.

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Criminal Law and CriminologyGhent UniversityGhentBelgium
  2. 2.Faculty of Business and Public AdministrationUniversity College GhentGhentBelgium

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