Photo via Clean Production Action
One of the primary ways electronics manufacturers can green up gadgets - aside from making them more energy efficient - is eliminating the toxic materials used in their manufacturing. It's an issue groups like Greenpeace push hard on companies about, since the use of certain materials has negative impacts on the environment, particularly during the disposal or recycling phase of a product's life. A new report by Clean Production Action and ChemSec shows which seven manufacturers are doing the most to eliminate these materials from the electronics they produce and send off into the world. The report, entitled "Greening Consumer Electronics: Moving Away from Bromine and Chlorine", highlights seven companies who have been the most innovative in eliminating most or all uses of brominated and chlorinated chemicals in their electronics.
The companies named include Apple (of course), Sony Ericsson (who is also going further by establishing full chemical inventories for all their product lines), Seagate (the largest disk drive manufacturer in the world), DSM Engineering Plastics (a major plastic material manufacturer), Nan Ya and Indium (major laminate manufacturer, and high-end manufacturer of solder paste and flux, respectively) and Silicon Storage Technology Inc. (a semiconductor manufacturer who was the first in the industry to supply Apple and others with bromine-free chips).
"These seven companies demonstrate that there are less toxic and still cost effective
alternatives to substances of high concern that do not compromise performance or reliability," said CPA Project Director Alexandra McPherson. Nardono Nimpuno, Senior Policy Advisor at ChemSec adds, "This report provides critical guidance for those companies who have yet to make this material transition."
And making that transition is vital to improving the health of the people and ecosystems that end up dealing with these devices when they're discarded. e-Waste dumps are a common topic around here, and its no shocker that far, far too many devices are making their way to landfills and e-waste dumps to pollute the planet, rather than ending up in safe, regulated recycling plants.
The report addresses concerns around human and environmental health, and e-waste regulations, in relationship to toxins in electronics and is worth a read through in its entirety.
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