Magazine article New Internationalist

Chilly Reception: Mixed Feelings about Europe's Roaming Fridges [African Countries Become Dumping Ground for Phased-Out CFC-Emitting European Refrigerators]

Magazine article New Internationalist

Chilly Reception: Mixed Feelings about Europe's Roaming Fridges [African Countries Become Dumping Ground for Phased-Out CFC-Emitting European Refrigerators]

Article excerpt

AFRICAN countries that have agreed to reduce the use of CFC-emitting refrigerators have also become the dumping ground for phased-out fridges from Europe. Developing countries have until the year 2010 to stop the use of CFCs, according to the internationally-agreed Montreal Protocol. In Zambia, a lax import-control regime has worsened the situation. Some local companies -- in collusion with European firms -- are cashing in on a demand for cheap refrigerators by dumping models that have been phased out in Europe.

In Zambia CFC-emitting refrigerators are around half the price of new non-CFC ones and are sold under an attractive scheme so that payments can be made in instalments over six months. For the average Zambian consumer the refrigerators are just too good a bargain to pass by.

'This is just one small fridge, surely it can't be compared to those big factories which smoke heavily. I doubt if it can really have much impact at all,' remarked Jones Mwale, a low-income civil servant who was negotiating payment terms in a refrigerator shop.

And a freezer has helped fishmonger Muleya Hachilala expand her business: 'Whatever this CFC means, all I know is that the deep freezer has been a big asset for me. …

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