Photo via Greenpeace
There is no rest for the toxic-laden when Greenpeace is around. The latest company to be called out for backtracking on their timeline to remove PVC and BFRs from their products is Dell. This week, Greenpeace held protests outside the offices of Dell in Bangalore, Amsterdam, and Copenhagen to push the company back on track for removing the harmful chemicals from its products by 2011. "Michael Dell drop the toxics" was the key slogan.
PC World reports that according to a Dell pokeswoman in Bangalore, the company stands by its commitment to rid its products of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and brominated flame retardants (BFRs) by 2011.
However, Dell had promised that by 2009 its products would be free of the toxic substances. Not a smart move when you have Greenpeace breathing down your neck. The activist organization has called out other companies, including HP and Samsung, for backtracking on removing these substances from their products. And as Dell backtracks, Greenpeace is now doubtful that Dell will meet the new 2011 target, which it set in 2009.
Dell has implemented a policy to keep e-waste inside the country for recycling, and not ship it to e-waste dumps where the chemicals are an extra serious hazard due to the poor recycling methods in those locations. But even when they're being recycled properly, if it's possible to have electronics run perfectly well without them (and we do), then there seems little good reason to hesitate removing them - especially for a company so bent on being a leader in environmental responsibility that they push other companies to change their green-themed tag line.
With that in mind, Greenpeace is making a few demands on Dell, including that the company provide a road-map and quarterly progress reports on its plans to phase out the harmful chemicals, and immediately announce at least one product is PVC- and BFR-free.