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Greenpeace demands to Philips

Background - October 16, 2008
On the 10th of June Greenpeace challenged Philips to become an environmental leader and move out of the red zone in the Greenpeace Electronics Ranking Guide and Philips accepted our challenge. More specifically Greenpeace asked Philips, as a first step, to publicly commit, to setting up a take-back system for its end-of-life electronic products globally and to re-evaluate its position on individual producer responsibility.

Specifically Greenpeace is asking Philips to:

a) Set up free and easy take-back for all your products globally, ie wherever they are sold, starting with Argentina, India, Russia and Thailand. In relation to this we expect public communication of timelines and take-back program details for the countries mentioned above.

b) Support individual producer responsibility (IPR) as established by article 8.2 in the European Law on waste electronics (WEEE Directive). We understand that the position on article 8.2 Philips submitted to the WEEE Directive revision consultation process shows that Philips is lobbying actively against IPR in favour of Collective Producer Responsibility (CPR) . Furthermore Philips continues to make confusing public statements on collective recycling systems (see below). Philips should take a clear and public position supporting financial individual producer responsibility and recycling systems that differentiate the real costs of recycling its own products.

In relation to both of the above Greenpeace expects coherence with these policies in the shape of clear pro-active engagement in ongoing legislative discussions on electronic waste both in the EU WEEE directive revision process and in the process of developing electronic waste laws with IPR in countries such as Argentina and India.

1) Philips continues to make public statements supporting `collective (or semi-collective´) recycling systems or schemes´ without clarifying whether they mean they support collective financing of all e-waste recycled in these systems, ie sharing out the costs of the recycling of their e-waste with other producers, or whether they are simply arguing to continue to be allowed to use a COLLECTIVE scheme (ie shared physical infrastructure) irrelevant of how the financing is structured. In other public statements (see pages 14 and 15 of the Philips Submission to the EU consultation on the revision of the WEEE Directive) they contradict their supposed support for IPR in their web-based policy statements with a clear demand for 'extending the collective financing for WEEE lamps'.  More explanation of the differences between collective financing and collective systems.