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 user 2010-03-01 at 11:12:34 am Views: 64
  • #23717
    A little less than a year ago, Dell announced that it was not
    going to export e-waste to developing countries – a corporate policy
    that is only surprising in that every single electronics manufacturer
    doesn’t already have it on the books. While it seems like an obvious
    part of acting as a responsible company, it’s a notion that has yet to
    make it into more companies’ consciousness. However, thankfully HP is
    stepping up and following Dell’s lead. They’ve just updated their
    corporate policy to include a ban on sending e-waste from rich nations
    into poor nations to be dismantled.The Environmental Leader reports that
    HP’s new version of its e-waste policy now states that “HP does not
    permit electronic waste to be exported from developed (member) countries
    in the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)
    and the European Union (EU) to developing (non-OECD/EU) countries,
    either directly or through intermediaries.”

    While non-hazardous
    materials – as defined by the Basel Action Network – and equipment
    intended for donation or resale can be exported, any e-waste that is
    toxic in nature will be tracked through the recycling chain as it is
    processed by responsible recyclers who are audited by HP on an annual
    basis to make sure they conform to social and environmental
    responsibility (SER) policies.

    Typically when manufacturers or
    policy makers create standards like this, they leave a little wiggle
    room to bend the rules. However, even the Electronics Take-Back
    Coalition and the Basel Action Network are applauding HP, showing that
    the company has made a strong move.”This announcement shows that
    HP is an environmental leader in this industry,” said Barbara Kyle,
    Electronics TakeBack Coalition National Coordinator, in a press release.
    “Companies managing e-waste need strict programs in place to prevent
    pushing our problems on developing nations and to stem the stream of
    toxic waste. With this policy, HP is making a commitment to do their
    part to stop the global dumping of e-waste.”

    While this is a
    no-brainer move and is frustrating that it isn’t yet universal, we have
    to give props where they’re due. And both Dell and now HP deserve
    applause for being more proactive on e-waste than much of the
    electronics industry. It’s wonderful to see companies stepping up, and
    now there’s even less of a reason for other companies to not do the
    same. Though stronger regulation and enforcement is still needed on the
    part of the government to ensure that companies less forward-thinking as
    Dell and HP cannot export toxic gadgets to e-waste dumps.”The U.S.
    doesn’t have laws that make it illegal to dump our e-waste on developing
    nations,” said Jim Puckett, Executive Director of the Basel Action
    Network (BAN), a global watchdog group on toxic trade, that has produced
    films and reports exposing the global e-waste dumping problem. “HP
    should be commended for this new policy, which goes beyond U.S. laws.”