More on e-waste

Cell-Phone Makers Sign Life-Cycle Management Initiative

Major mobile-phone manufacturers have signed a declaration expressing their interest in cooperating with the Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and Their Disposal and with other stakeholders in the mobile-phone sector on the environmentally sound management of end-of-life mobile phones.
Expression of interest isn’t quite the same as commitment to action, but at least it’s a step in the right direction.
Also in greenbiz.com, Ted Smith of the Silicon Valley Toxics Campaign addresses The Challenges of Producer Responsibility in Electronics and the Computer Take Back Campaign:
This platform has now been endorsed by hundreds of groups around the U.S…. This past year, 20 states introduced legislation related to e-waste, and the California legislature passed the first two bills in the country. Tellingly, all of the U.S. electronics companies and their trade associations opposed the California legislation, with the exception of Apple Computer.
Dell Computer Company has emerged as the campaignês chief target because they are the industry leader in market share but have consistently been ranked as a laggard in the Computer Report Card.

Consumer campaigns, especially focused through college campuses, are also in the works. But pressure from the organized purchasing power of large corporate and institutional buyers — especially in Europe, but also including state and local government in the US — may be what moves this opportunity through the tipping point.
(Why ‘opportunity’? Because it makes no sense to consign all that chemistry, metalurgy and engineering to the landfill — especially when design for Extended Producer Responsiblity (EPR) will yield better products, with better price performance ratios. Translation: market share and profits for the companies that lead the way.)


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