Background - 26 April, 2010
When it comes to e-waste - the mountains of dumped and usually toxic consumer electronics exported to developing countries around the world - huge companies like Toshiba are hugely responsible. However, of all the big consumer electronics producers (making everything from laptops to dvd players, televisions, home appliances and industrial equipment) Toshiba has previously scored relatively well in the Guide.

In 2007, Toshiba published a report on their website on their commitment to phase out toxic materials by 2009. They still have not followed through with this commitment to eliminate PVC and BFR’s from their product line.

Download Toshiba’s original reports on their commitment to eliminate toxics from their product line.

Chart of Toshiba's score over time

Of all the major Japanese companies it has also consistently maintained the highest score. This year with the 14th edition of the Guide to Greener Electronics however, the company has lost marks - for backtracking on earlier promises.

The company planned to have phased out toxic poly vinyl chloride (PVC) and brominated flame retardants (BFRs) by 1st April 2010 (we assume that wasn't an April fools joke) - but it failed to do so and has so far given no reason.

Although it is more complicated to clean up a vast product range competitors in the business of personal computers and laptops, such as Apple, have already eliminated PVC and BFR. So we know it's possible. Then why aren't Toshiba computers toxic free?