We love our Macs! But Mac Expo doesn’t love Green my Apple!

Feature story - 26 October, 2006
We here at Greenpeace pride ourselves in getting into places we're not supposed to be, like nuclear power plants and weapons test sites. So it really, really hurts to get kicked out of something like the Mac Expo -- where we had permission to attend! All we want is better environmental policies from Apple: is that so heretical that we get thrown out?

Why was this woman evicted from Mac Expo?

Our volunteers had set up a stall to sign up fellow Mac fans in the effort to get Apple to go green. We handed out some flyers.  We handed out some organic green apples. We talked to lots of cool people about how uncool it was for Apple to be neglecting their environmental impact.

As Tom Dowdall writes over on the Making Waves blog, "most visitors were very interested and showed support for the campaign by signing up online or writing to Steve. But it seems other exhibitors were not so happy."

Iza Kruszewska, Greenpeace International campaigner at the expo, says "Apple should be a world leader in the greening of the electronics industry, not lagging behind."  Why would we expect anything less of the world's coolest company?

Bottom of the barrel

Apple scored 11th place (out of 14) on a 'Guide to Greener Electronics' recently released by Greenpeace, with a poor showing on almost all criteria.  The company fails to embrace the precautionary principle, withholds its full list of regulated substances, provides no timelines for eliminating toxic polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and no commitment at all to phasing out all uses of brominated flameretardants (BFRs).  Ok, we know. That's a lot of letters. Bottom line: Apples contain poisonous stuff that ends up in China and India as e-waste, and which other computer manufacturers have committed to get rid of.  When iPods, Macs and other items in the Apple product range get thrown away, most get disassembled, melted, and picked apart by kids with no health and safety protection. NOT cool.

Apple reports on the amount of its electronic waste that gets recycled, which is a good thing.  And they do take back computers in the US for proper recycling. But worldwide, their policies on taking back products from their customers are in the back of the pack by industry standards.

"It's time for Apple to use clean components in all of its products and to provide a free take-back program to reuse and recycle its products wherever they are sold. We are challenging the world leader in design to also be a world leader in environmental innovation. We challenge Apple to have a product range on the market by 2007 which is free of the worst toxic chemicals." says Iza.

The customer is always right. And the customer wants green.

Now here's the rich part. The exhibition hall may have kicked Greenpeace out, but Mac Expo is FULL of people campaigning for a greener Apple.  They're called Apple Customers. To date, more than 155,000 people have visited the Green my Apple site.  Over 1000 blogs are linking to it.  And 12,000 Apple fans have written to Steve Jobs asking him to change Apple's ways.

Come on, Steve. Anybody can pollute the planet.  Apple can think different.

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