Philips’ new recycling policy shifts financial burden away from the consumer, Greenpeace welcomes the move

Press release - March 3, 2009
BANGALORE, India — Greenpeace India welcomes Philips’ recent announcement of change in its recycling policy. Last week, Philips confirmed that the consumers should no longer bear the cost for recycling of Philips products directly paid as additional fixed fee instead the company would make this cost as part of the overall product price. This shifts the financial burden away from the consumer and back to the company.

Philips embraces producer responsibility.

In India, Philips is now offering its voluntary recycling service through free take-back programme in 8 cities. Philips also endorses ongoing law making process on e-waste management in India.

Greenpeace had been calling on Philips since 2007 to stop actively opposing laws that would oblige electronics producers to accept financial responsibility for the recycling of their own products (1). After several Greenpeace actions in different countries including India and 47,000 public messages, the company has finally changed its stance.

"We appreciate Philips' willingness to take full financial responsibility of its products." said Abhishek Pratap, Greenpeace India Toxic Campaigner.  "This is a right step towards realization of a "producer responsibility" regime in India."

Previously, Philips had promoted the addition of a fixed charge on top of the product price, passing the responsibility and costs of recycling directly to the consumer. However, these fixed charges are misleading, since actual costs are influenced by the amount of toxic chemicals present in products and how easy it is to recycle them. If producers are really paying for the collection and recycling of their own products, they have the added incentive to develop cleaner, more recyclable products that will reduce recycling costs. Individual producer responsibility integrating environmental cost in the product price is crucial to the greener development of the electronics industry.

Philips has already launched a pilot take-back service for its own-brand products through 27 collection centers in eight cities across India. (2) Philips intends to set up a global take back system. However, the company still has to commit to an implementation time frame.

"Philips' commitment to a financially sensible recycling policy, together with the simple step of taking back its obsolete products and recycling them properly everywhere, is likely to substantially improve Philips' ranking in the next Guide to Greener Electronics," said Martin Besieux, Greenpeace International toxics campaigner. "However, we want to see Philips maintain a leading role by helping to ensure future legislation on e-waste continues to ensure Individual Producer Responsibility and fully integrates environmental costs into product prices."

Following an international expose of the illegal export of e-waste from Western countries to Africa last week (2), Greenpeace will continue to pressure other companies to follow Philips' lead, and embrace producer responsibility.

Contact information

Abhishek Pratap, Greenpeace India Toxic Campaigner, Tel- +91-9845610749

Saumya Pritathy, Greenpeace India Communications, Tel- +91-934362212

Martin Besieux, Greenpeace International Toxics Campaigner, Tel: +32496161585

Greenpeace International Press Desk, Tel: +31 20718 2470

For further information, contact

Notes to Editor

1. Greenpeace is calling for all electronics companies to support and implement the continued use of the principle of Individual Producer Responsibility in legislation on managing e-waste.

2. Information regarding Philips pilot Take-back programme in India is available at