Environmental racism or ecological apartheid is a form of institutional racism leading to landfills, incinerators, and hazardous waste disposal being disproportionally placed in communities of colour. Internationally, it is also associated with extractivism, which places the environmental burdens of mining, oil extraction, and industrial agriculture upon indigenous peoples and poorer nations largely inhabited by people of colour.
Response to environmental racism has contributed to the environmental justice movement, which developed in the United States and abroad throughout the 1970s and 1980s. Environmental racism may disadvantage minority groups or numerical majorities, as in South Africa where apartheid had debilitating environmental impacts on Black people. Internationally, trade in global waste disadvantages global majorities in poorer countries largely inhabited by people of colour. It also applies to the particular vulnerability of indigenous groups to environmental pollution.
Examples include the siting of polluting factories (sewage treatment, smokestacks) in residential areas of particular ethnic or minority groups. It is also evident in the new political trend of eco-racism which talks of "demographic pollution" and blames immigrants for consumption of more resources, higher emissions of pollutants, and more waste.