Greenpeace presses for removal of toxic substances from electronics products
A report by the online news source computerweekly.com quotes the Greenpeace as saying technology companies are delaying the removal of toxic chemicals from their computers.
The report named Microsoft, Lenovo, Fujitsu and Dell as the companies that continue to score low on Greenpeace’s latest quarterly electronics guide. The Guide rates companies according to their environmental performance.
Apple, Sony Ericsson and Nokia are however listed as the best performing companies, with products free of hazardous materials, better recycling policies and lower energy use.
Greenpeace according to the report is trying to persuade IT manufacturers to remove toxic substances such as PVC vinyl plastic and brominated flame retardents (BFRs) from their products because of the damage caused to the environment and people’s health when the products are disposed of in countries including Ghana and India. The charity also wants legislation banning the use of the chemicals in the manufacture of IT equipment.
Lenovo is said to have backtracked on its commitment to remove the chemicals from its products by the end of 2009, delaying the removal indefinitely. Microsoft was also named as failing to support legislation on the issue.
Greenpeace says companies need to publically support bans on the chemicals during the revision of the EU’s Restriction of Hazardous Substances in Electronics Directive.
Ghana has been identified as one of the countries that have become a dumping ground for obsolete electronics items. But some work has started in the country to try to address the problem.
By Emmanuel K. Dogbevi