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Nation-States and the Global EnvironmentNew Approaches to International Environmental History$
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Erika Marie Bsumek, David Kinkela, and Mark Atwood Lawrence

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199755356

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199755356.001.0001

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International Trash and the Politics of PovertyConceptualizing the Transnational Waste Trade

International Trash and the Politics of PovertyConceptualizing the Transnational Waste Trade

Chapter:
(p.252) 12 International Trash and the Politics of PovertyConceptualizing the Transnational Waste Trade
Source:
Nation-States and the Global Environment
Author(s):

Emily Brownell

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199755356.003.0013

This chapter explores definitions and permutations of the global waste trade and suggests that studying waste offers historians an opportunity to consider the transformation that materials (and politics) undergo when transcending borders. To suggest that transnational environmental history must centrally consider how goods, issues, and people are redefined across space, this chapter examines three forms of the waste trade to Africa (toxic waste, the used clothing industry and food ‘dumping’). Already transformed once before its journey from a cultural good to a biologically and economically discarded item, waste is inevitably transformed again by its relocation and permeation into a new cultural and biological context, with the potential to both offer new economic opportunities and wreak environmental havoc.

Keywords:   waste trading, food dumping, used clothing, toxic waste, international environmental regulation

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