When older refrigerators are replaced, there is a real problem with what to do with them. They often contain environmentally harmful chemicals like CFCs or are very energy inefficient. This means that whether throwing an old refrigerator away, or selling it second-hand for continued use can both represent harm to the environment.
Many of these refrigerators have been banned in the European Union and so were being sent overseas to places where they were still legal. As many as 2 million such refrigerators had been imported into Ghana in the past.
According to the BBC, today we can strike Ghana from that list as officials there have taken a stand against the use of second-hand refrigerators that have been imported into their country. This appears to be a ban on imported refrigerators, not ones already in the country.
While it’s understandable that people would want to use cheap second-hand refrigerators, over the long run the energy costs are likely to eat up much of, or even surpass that savings. Ghana is furthering incentives towards the use of new efficient refrigerators by offering rebates for those who trade-in older refrigerators when making a new refrigerator purchase.
We at FridgeDimensions.com applaud Ghana for doing the right thing both in banning the importation of old refrigerators, as well as offering incentives to further ensure more ecologically friendly refrigerators will fill the void. Perhaps countries which are major exporters of these second-hand refrigerators would do well to consider incentives towards the proper disposal of banned refrigerators.