A boy winces at the acrid smoke rising from the computer motherboards being melted over open fires in a electronics waste (e-waste) recycling yard in Delhi. Such open air burning of electronics parts to recover metals causes large exposure of workers and the environment to toxic pollution.
LG's commitment comes after we lifted the lid earlier this year
on manytop brand electronics' companies poor performance in
removing toxicchemicals from their products and the mountains of
electronic waste(e-waste) that they generate.
After finding themselves exposed on the Internet at the bottom
of thee-waste pile, LG contacted Greenpeace to find out what they
had toimprove. Soon after, they committed to eliminating hazardous
chemicalsfrom their entire product range. If LG found it so easy to
make thecommitment, and companies with more than half the market
share inmobile phones and a significant market share of other
consumerelectronics making a similar commitment, why can't the
slackers atDell, Apple or Acer do the same?
See which companies are in the
hall of shame.
LG joins the growing list of environmental leaders like Sony
Ericsson,Nokia, Samsung and Sony who have already made commitments
to eliminatethe toxic chemicals in their products.
The commitments aren't just good for consumers who will be able
to buyelectronic products that are less harmful to the environment
but alsofor the workers in the factories where the products are
made and thescrap yards where many of the products are dismantled
for recycling ordisposal.
The commitment from LG comes as we released a damning report on
thee-waste trade to China and India. Discarded electronic waste
fromaround the world is being shipped to developing countries in
the nameof recycling but the reality is far less appealing. Heavy
metals likelead are finding their way into the environment and even
people's homesat much higher rates than normal levels.
Dr. Kevin Brigden, Greenpeace scientist, who collected the
samples ofdust from workshops, as well as wastewater, soil and
sediment fromlocal rivers concluded that, "The data reinforces the
need for theelectronics industry to eliminate the use of harmful
substances intheir products at the design stage and take
responsibility for theirproducts at the end of their
Now the momentum for companies to clean up their act in the
electronicsindustry is gathering pace it remains to be seen what
other brands willshow environmental leadership. The industry also
needs to show it isserious about tackling the problem of e-waste by
taking back itproducts at the end of their lifecycle rather than
allowing poorcountries to deal with toxic e-waste.
how the companies line up. Includes contact links if you want
to contact the companies on this issue.
Learn more about the
problem of e-waste and the
solutions to the problem.
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