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 user 2008-08-19 at 5:29:03 pm Views: 70
  • #20436
    HP Draws Greenpeace Ire in India
    (HP) has been targeted by Greenpeace in India for not offering a
    service there for recovering used equipment from consumers.Greenpeace
    activists staged a protest Tuesday outside HP’s offices in Bangalore,
    demanding that the company offer a take-back service for consumers in
    the next two weeks. They also want HP to lobby publicly for e-waste
    legislation in India and take an active role in drafting new e-waste

    India generated 330,000 metric tonnes of e-waste
    last year, with a further 50,000 tonnes from developed countries also
    being dumped there, according to a December report by the
    Manufacturers’ Association for Information Technology (MAIT) in Delhi
    and Deutsche Gesellschaft für Technische Zusammenarbeit (GTZ), a German
    group focused on sustainable development.India has no legislation
    controlling e-waste aside from broad guidelines issued by its pollution
    control board, said Ramapati Kumar, a Greenpeace toxics campaigner. The
    guidelines are not mandatory and place no responsibility on the
    producers, he said.About 75 percent of the e-waste generated within
    India comes from branded products like computers, mobile phones, and
    television sets, Kumar said. The companies that sell the products
    should take responsibility for their proper disposal, he added.

    spokeswoman for HP said Tuesday that the company already has a
    take-back service for corporate customers in India and that it planned
    to extend this to consumers by early next year.”It is not simple to
    implement a take-back scheme because the culture of returning hardware
    does not exist in India,” the spokeswoman said. Users are reluctant to
    return equipment and prefer to sell it to unorganized buyers or give it
    away to friends and relations, she said.”In India, used hardware is
    still perceived as a value rather than cost,” she said.

    launched its take-back scheme for corporate users in India as far back
    as 2003 but it had few takers at the time, the spokeswoman said. It
    re-launched the service, called the Planet Partners Hardware Recycling
    Program, in June. It offers to take back both HP and non-HP equipment
    including PCs, monitors, servers and printers, as well as peripherals
    such as mice and keyboards.HP is working with MAIT to craft new e-waste
    legislation and to lobby the Indian government for appropriate laws,
    the spokeswoman said.Greenpeace activists, however, hold that HP’s
    support for e-waste legislation is half-hearted.

    HP may now
    advance the date for the launch of its take-back service for consumers,
    the spokeswoman said.Greenpeace has targeted high-profile companies in
    India before. In 2005, activists dumped some 500 kilograms of
    electronic waste outside the Bangalore headquarters of Wipro Ltd., one
    of the country’s large outsourcing companies and a PC maker.The
    activists said they had collected the Wipro-branded computers from
    recycling yards in Delhi, Bangalore and Chennai. About six months later
    Wipro announced a free e-waste disposal service.