Philips Electronics has long been in the red with a big fat zero on tackling e-waste in our Guide to Greener Electronics. Meanwhile, in Moscow’s Red Square, it is celebrating 110 years in Russia with its annual 'Sense and Simplicity' event. We did a spot of corporate gatecrashing to remind Philips that, after all these years, doing the right thing is still simple: take back and recycle.
Philips stands out as the company with the worst position on e-waste and recycling.
Philips stands out as thebiggest obstacle to tackling the
growing problem of old electronics (e-waste)being dumped in
developing countries. Not that you'll find any reference tosuch
details in Philips' marketing material. That's why we paid a visit
tohighlight the real consequences of Philips' position. In fact, we
discoveredthat never mind simply not mentioning the real truth,
Philips' public materialwas overflowing with elaborate wording
gushing over how responsible, healthyand sustainable Philips
Circle of irresponsibility
We found a copyof Philips' greenwashed press packet in a trash
bin. It claims Philips' eventis all about a healthy lifestyle and
maintaining a sustainableenvironment. It talks about
responsibleconsumption and a shopping experience it calls the
"Circle of Life." Philipsclaims the concepts and products presented
at the event are about itscommitment to "health and well-being of
people across the globe" and to"collective well-being, and helping
to create a sustainable global society toprotect our environment
for future generations." If this is the case, then why does
Philipsfail to take back and recycling it products globally in
contrast to manycompetitors like Dell and Nokia? Why does it refuse
to accept the real costs oftheir own e-waste? Instead, Philips
promotes and actively lobbies forgovernments and public to
subsidise recycling its e-waste.
Unhealthy People, Unhealthy Living, Unhealthy Planet
Philips should takeresponsibility for its own products. If it is
really interested in a"sustainable global society", it should make
sure all of its products are collectedand not leave the burden of
cleaning up toxic e-waste on unprotected workers.E-waste can end up
in countries without recycling facilities and the recyclingworkers
treating the waste - often children - are exposed to a cocktail
oftoxic chemicals and poisons when the products are broken
Unprotected workers in thee-waste dumps of China, India,
Pakistan and Ghana who end up dismantlingPhilips products are a
world away from Philips' 'Sense and Sensibility'marketing, but that
doesn't change the fact that Philips is the company whoseposition
is blocking real solutions to the problem. Watch the snap shot
ofpersonal stories of e-waste workers in Pakistan.
The words healthy and sustainable certainly don't spring to mind
Other electronics producers, including Sony, Dell and
Lenovo,accept responsibility for their own products, supporting
'Individual ProducerResponsibility', and setting up free voluntary
take-back systems for theirproducts. Philips is lobbying against
the implementation of individual producerresponsibility, under
existing legislation and its adoption in futurelegislation.
Weare calling on Philips to accept responsibility for its own
e-waste and to takeback and recycle its products in every country
where they are sold. It shouldpay for the recycling of its own
products.When producers pay the real recycling costs, they have an
incentive tostop using toxic materials in the design of their
products and make them moredurable and recyclable in order to lower
the recycling costs.
Tell Philips to simply take back and recycle its products.
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