Computer giant Dell has announced that it will remove key toxic chemicals from its desktop computers, laptops and other products. The company announced on its website a corporate pledge committing to phase out the use of two key groups of chemicals known to be hazardous to the environment: all types of brominated flame retardants (BFRs) and the plastic polyvinyl chlorine (PVC), by 2009. Greenpeace, which is waging a campaign to pressure electronics manufacturers into making their products more environmentally friendly, urged other companies to tackle the mounting crisis of toxic e-waste, citing polling results showing public support for higher quality environmentally-friendly electronics and a desire to pay more for them.
"Dell's decision to remove these
harmful chemicals is a step in the right direction for the
electronics industry and the direction that consumers want.
Consumers want greener electronics, and they are even willing to
pay more for them," said Rick Hind, legislative director of the
Greenpeace Toxics Campaign. "The computer industry needs to live up
to its responsibilities, and ensure that when products reach their
end of life, they do not become hazardous waste that poisons people
and the environment," he continued.
Dell's announcement follows a
campaign by Greenpeace calling on the electronic industry to
eliminate the most hazardous toxic chemicals from its products and
to move towards clean methods of production. Hewlett Packard, LGE,
Nokia, Samsung, Sony and Sony Ericsson have already made
commitments to eliminate the use of some hazardous chemicals in the
near future. However, a number of other companies including Acer,
Apple, Fujitsu-Siemens, IBM, Lenovo, Panasonic, Siemens and Toshiba
have refused to make similar commitments. Motorola, the only one of
the top five mobile phone manufacturers has failed to commit to
removing toxic components, and has recently been downgraded in
Greenpeace's industry ranking.
More than thirty-five percent of
Dell's revenue comes from outside of the United States and that
percentage is growing. According to a survey conducted in nine
countries by Ipsos-MORI for Greenpeace, people would pay more for
an environmentally friendly computer. The breakdown of these
countries and the amount which they are willing to pay range from
54% in Germany (up to $59), 62% in the Philippines (up to $86), 65%
in Poland (up to $70), 68% in Britain (up to $118), 78% in Mexico
(up to $229), 81% in China (up to $199) and 84% in Thailand (up to
$138). In all of these countries (except Philippines), a majority
also believes that companies should be held responsible for dealing
with hazardous waste from their products rather than expecting
users, retailers or governments to pay.
VVPR info: http://www.greenpeace.org/international/campaigns/toxics/electronics
Exp. contact date: 2006-07-26 00:00:00