CES 2009: Toxic TV Zombies Invade Las Vegas


Photo via Electronics TakeBack Coalition

CES is trying to go green in some ways - there is a minuscule "green gadgets" zone, they're making moves to green up their conference logistics, and have launched the Greener Gadgets off-shoot conference.

However, that isn't enough for some. Putting some activist spice into this year's convention, the Electronics TakeBack Coalition has unleashed zombies on Las Vegas in an effort to draw attention to the problem with television manufacturers and their lack of responsibility when it comes to taking back TV sets.

"CES is all about the electronics industry convincing consumers to replace their old gadgets with the newest, coolest thing, " said Robin Schneider, the executive director of the Texas Campaign for the Environment, and Vice Chair of the Electronics TakeBack Coalition.

"But at CES you won't hear much about what consumers should do with the old products they tossed aside. We think that as long as these electronic products contain toxic materials, the company that makes the product should take it back and recycle it in a responsibly when the consumer is done with it. Until they do, we'll just see more and more TV zombies - old TVs tossed into the landfills."

Absolutely right. While putting up recycling bins and setting up mass transit for attendees is nice, a far more green thing to do would be to pressure electronics makers to promote the steps they take in cradle-to-cradle design, and the services they have in place or are creating for their consumers who want to responsibly dispose of old gadgets.

CES isn't doing that this year - so the zombies will.

The zombies represented all of the discarded, still functioning TVs that are not recycled but thrown into landfills. They are "undead" because their toxic components continue to "live on" in the ground soil and water supply, causing public health and environmental hazards.

In 44 states it is still legal to throw a TV in the landfill. The zombies are a reminder to the consumer electronics industry that their products are toxic and they are not going away.

The focus on "undead" televisions stems from the tens of millions of still working TVs being discarded in anticipation of the digital conversion on February 17.

The zombies are running loose in the city, forcing CES-goers and exhibitors to remember that all these gadgets don't disappear, and we have to care about where they end up.

More photos and video of the tv zombies to come as they're sighted. Here's a cartoon to keep you entertained in the meantime.

Via Press Release

More on Electronics TakeBack Coalition
Toxic Televisions of the Undead Variety
Electronics TakeBack Coalition Grades TV Makers on Recycling
e-Stewards Announces Big News for e-Waste Recyclers

Tags: Activism | Corporate Responsibility | Electronics | E-Waste | Television