Greenpeace renews call for design-out-toxics at ELCOMP

Press release - September 13, 2007
New Delhi,12 Sept, 2007: Greenpeace today renewed its call for design-out-toxics from all electronic products at the backdrop of ELCOMP India 2007, the electronic trade fair at Pragati Maidan. Greenpeace urged the gathering of electronic community, representatives from industry associations and the Ministry of Information Technology officials to wipe out all hazardous substances and chemicals from electronic products by addressing the problem at design drawing board, and by making sure that India has an appropriate legislation like RoHS to spur this move.

Greenpeace art installation depicting the e-waste crisis at ELCOMP, the electrononics trade fair at Pragati Maidan, New Delhi

The message was sent from a huge art installation depicting e-waste crisis with a banner that read- Electronic Industry: Design out Toxics.

An Electronic Association of India projection says that the amount of e-waste generated in India would increase 11 fold from the current 1,46,000 tons per annum to 16,00,000 tons per annum by 2012. Due to the presence of harmful chemicals in computers and electronic products, this growth is confronting India with an environmental and public health nightmare.

"This throws a big challenge to all stakeholders to put their synergy towards producing electronics products free of hazardous substances, and by working out a comprehensive mechanism for recycle of end-of-life e-products" said Pranav Sinha, Greenpeace India Toxics campaigner.

Most global companies are now forthcoming in sharing information on products that are free of some of the worst chemicals, while still working to launch cleaner products in the future. For instance, in March 2007, Panasonic launched a series of PVC-free products, including DVD players, recorders, home cinemas and video players; and now provides a list of products that are PVC-free. Meanwhile, Nokia, Sony Ericsson and Motorola are introducing models that are already free from PVC and brominated flame-retardants (BFRs).

Greenpeace believes that the very absence, till date, of e-waste legislation puts India in a unique position to draft a state-of-the-art legal framework based on the EPR principle. Even China is ahead of India as it has been consistently updating its regulatory mechanisms in keeping with modern developments. At a time when the Indian electronic industry is moving forward in search of global recognition, its aspirations would be best served if the government set in place a legislative framework to ensure brands take responsibility for the entire life cycle of their products.  

For further information, contact

Pranav Sinha, Greenpeace Toxics campaigner @ 09880821149
Saumya Tripathy, Greenpeace Communications @ 09343862212