Greenpeace calls on Wipro to "Apply Thought" and "Promote Clean Production"

Press release - September 5, 2005
BANGALORE, India — Greenpeace activists today delivered nearly 500 kilos of assorted electronic waste to the corporate headquarters of Wipro in Bangalore, to highlight the growing menace of dangerous chemicals being released to the environment while recycling electronic waste. The Wipro e-waste was sourced from illegitimate e-waste recycling yards in Delhi, Chennai and Bangalore.


A recent Greenpeace report "Toxic Tech: recycling electronic wastes in China and India", released on 17th August 2005, has conclusively proved that heavy metals including lead and cadmium, acids and organic contaminants are released into the workplace and in many cases, into the surrounding environment, during the e-waste recycling and scrapping process. Greenpeace considers that the only way to deal with the growing problem of electronic waste is for companies to design clean electronics with longer life spans, that are safe and easy to recycle and will not expose workers and the environment to hazardous chemicals.

"Samsung, Sony and LG are some of the multinational companies that have made commitments to eliminate the use of hazardous chemicals such as polyvinylchloride (PVC) and brominated flame retardants (BFRs), in their products and substitute them with safer alternatives(1). Many companies are also exploring mechanisms to 'take-back' their end-of life products. This clearly proves that it is possible to make electronic equipment without the use of these hazardous substances and still remain profitable," said Ramapati Kumar, Toxics Campaigner, Greenpeace India

The Karnataka Pollution Control Board (KPCB) has already served notice to Wipro for having sent significant volumes of electronic waste to unauthorized recycling yards, where products are taken apart (often by hand) under appalling conditions, exposing workers and the environment to potentially harmful substances.

"Wipro, an iconic Indian brand, prides itself on its strength in the Technology and Enterprise domains. It's high time it used these strengths to make the much-needed shift to clean production and build a competitive edge by introducing products that do not cause harm to the environment or to people," he added.

Greenpeace is demanding that all electronics manufacturing companies:

1. Eliminate the use of hazardous chemicals in their products and substitute them with safe alternatives.

2. Take Extended Producer Responsibility for all their products, from the production cycle to the end of the products’ life cycle.

For further information:

Ramapati Kumar, Toxics Campaigner, Greenpeace India: +919845535414

Namrata Chowdhary, Media Officer, Greenpeace India: +919810850092

See the E-waste Campaign pages

See related E-waste story

Footnote 1: Substitutes for Brominated Flame Retardants: For example Sony has developed an inorganic flame-retardant made from vegetable-based plastic (UL94 V-2) See