Greener Electronics

Every year, hundreds of thousands of old computers and mobile phones are dumped in landfills or burned in smelters. Thousands more are exported, often illegally, from the Europe, US, Japan and other industrialised countries, to Asia. There, workers at scrap yards, some of whom are children, are exposed to a cocktail of toxic chemicals and poisons.

A Chinese child sits amongst a pile of wires and e-waste. Children can often be found dismantling e-waste containing many hazardous chemicals known to be potentially very damaging to children's health.

The rate at which these mountains of obsolete electronic products are growing will reach crisis proportions unless electronics corporations that profit from making and selling these devices face up to their responsibilities. It is possible to make clean, durable products that can be upgraded, recycled, or disposed of safely and don't end up as hazardous waste in someone's backyard.

Discover more about e-waste, what happens after it is thrown away, which companies are top and bottom of the toxic product class and the solutions to the problem.

The latest updates


Why fixing your phone is one of the most empowering things you can do

Blog entry by Kyle Wiens | August 26, 2016

Like most people, I don’t go anywhere without my phone. In the morning, its shrill alarm rouses me from sleep. During the day it bobs between my ear, my hand, and my pocket. At night, I hunt for Pokémon before putting it away on the...

17,000 hazardous chemicals and counting - open-sourcing Greenpeace’s global chemical...

Blog entry by Pierre Terras | April 4, 2016

Greenpeace is campaigning for a toxic-free future where hazardous chemicals are no longer produced, used and dumped into our environment. This includes chemicals which are persistent, toxic, bioaccumulative, carcinogenic and disruptive...

Electronics companies can lead the way on clean energy - if you push them

Blog entry by Casey Harrell | November 20, 2012

Every day, you rely on your computer, mobile phone, or tablet to be more productive, or just to have fun. Gadgets can make our lives better, but the rate at which we collectively purchase and discard them is having a serious impact...

Greener electronics guide updated

Feature story | October 27, 2010 at 7:24

The latest edition of the Greenpeace Guide to Greener Electronics exposes the widening gap between companies that make good on their promises to clean up, and those that don't. While some of the top electronics manufacturers are failing to keep...

Success! Phillips make a recycling policy u-turn

Blog entry by bunny | February 27, 2009

An old Philips TV at a scrap yard in Ghana A Greenpeace Europe update: Last week we broke the shocking story about what actually happens to electronic waste in Europe; instead of being safely recycled in the UK or Europe where it...

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