Motorola hangs up on toxic clean up promise

Feature story - May 23, 2006
US mobile phone company Motorola has backtracked on a promise to remove toxic chemicals from its products. While competitors like Sony Ericsson and Nokia are living up to their commitments to remove toxic chemicals, Motorola is not answering the call to clean up.

Motorola: breaking promises to remove toxic chemicals from its phones.

Over the last couple of years we have been pressuring leading companiesto  remove the most toxic chemicals from their products.  Withcompanies as diverse as H&M, Puma, Adidas, Hewlett Packard andNokia, we have scored some notable successes.

Many chemicals ineveryday products are now common environmental pollutants. Almost everyone has dozens of man-made chemicalsin their body, and the effects of these chemical cocktails on our healthare largely unknown.

Back in October 2005 we congratulated Motorola for joining thegood guys when they made toxic clean-up promises. In a July 2005 letter, Motorolacommitted to phase out all toxic brominated flame retardants (BFRs) inits mobile phones by mid 2007 and to provide a phase out date for thehazardous plastic PVC by March 2006. But after follow-up talks on theirprogress we received a letter on 15 May 2006 stating that Motorola cannot phase out BFRs and PVC from their products.

Motorola's letter makes several excuses for not keeping theirpromise. But other mobile phone companies have shown us progress ratherthan excuses. Sony Ericsson has already removedBFRs from all their models except one. Nokia has already removed PVC inall new models and all new components will be free of BFRs from 1stJanuary 2007.

For the other companies that made commitments in 2004 and 2005 it istime to put words in to action. Both LG electronics and Samsung arecurrently behind on their promises but still working towardselimination of these toxic chemicals. Both companies have large productranges from cameras to refrigerators that can make elimination from thewhole product range more complex. Motorola makes mainly mobile phonesso it doesn't even have the excuse of a diverse product range.

Check out how the top electronics companies compare on eliminating toxic chemicals and consider who you want to get your money next time you go shopping for electronics.

So Hello? Motorola? If your competitors can make their products greener, why can't you?

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