Guide to Greener Electronics

Publication - December 6, 2006
Greenpeace wants to see electronics companies clean up their act. Substituting harmful chemicals in the production of electronics will prevent worker exposure to these substances and contamination of communities that neighbour production facilities. Eliminating harmful substances will also prevent leaching/off-gassing of chemicals like brominated flame retardants (BFR) during use, and enable electronic scrap to be safely recycled. The presence of toxic substances in electronics perpetuates the toxic cycle – during reprocessing of electronic waste and by using contaminated secondary materials to make new products. Until the use of toxic substances is eliminated, it is impossible to secure ‘safe’ recycling. For this reason, the points awarded to corporate practice on chemicals (five criteria, double points for PVC – and BFR-free models) are weighted more heavily than criteria on recycling, because until the use of harmful substances is eliminated in products, it is impossible to secure ‘safe’, toxic-free recycling.