Greener Electronics

Every year, hundreds of thousands of old computers and mobile phones are dumped in landfills or burned in smelters. Thousands more are exported, often illegally, from the Europe, US, Japan and other industrialised countries, to Asia. There, workers at scrap yards, some of whom are children, are exposed to a cocktail of toxic chemicals and poisons.

A Chinese child sits amongst a pile of wires and e-waste. Children can often be found dismantling e-waste containing many hazardous chemicals known to be potentially very damaging to children's health.

The rate at which these mountains of obsolete electronic products are growing will reach crisis proportions unless electronics corporations that profit from making and selling these devices face up to their responsibilities.

It is possible to make clean, durable products that can be upgraded, recycled, or disposed of safely and don't end up as hazardous waste in someone's backyard.

Discover more about e-waste, what happens after it is thrown away, which companies are top and bottom of the toxic product class and the solutions to the problem.

The latest updates

 

Electronic Waste in Ghana

Video | August 4, 2008 at 11:59

Our analysis of samples taken from two electronic waste (e-waste) scrap yards in Ghana has revealed severe contamination with hazardous chemicals.

Buy it, Use it, Break it, Junk it, it's Toxic

Video | May 5, 2008 at 12:26

Get an idea of the components that make up our everyday appliances.

Where does e-waste end up?

Video | February 22, 2008 at 12:11

E-waste is routinely exported by developed countries to developing ones, often in violation of the international law. This practice is legal because the US has not ratified the Basel Convention.

Has Steve really reinvented the phone?

Video | October 12, 2007 at 10:41

Scientific tests, arranged by Greenpeace, reveal that Apple's iPhone contains hazardous chemicals. The tests uncovered two types of hazardous substances, some of which have already been eliminated by other mobile phone makers.

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