Innovations Are Tomorrow's
CES showcases the new, but what are
consumers supposed to do with the old?
NV - America'
sea of high-tech trash swelled today as millions of consumer electronics
devices were made obsolete by innovations unveiled at the 2002 Consumer
Electronics Show (CES) at the Las Vegas Convention Center.
equipment is one of the fastest growing and most highly toxic waste
streams in the industrialized world," says David Wood, Program Director
of the GrassRoots Recycling Network ("GRRN") and organizing director
of the national Computer TakeBack Campaign. "The
rapid pace of product development in consumer electronics has a
dark side, which is rapid obsolescence and a failure on the part
of industry to take responsibility for goods at the end of their
useful lives," continues Wood, who is at CES distributing educational
materials and speaking with industry reps.
TVs, and other consumer electronic devices contain materials which
are harmful to the environment, including lead, mercury, cadmium,
PVC plastics and dioxin-like flame retardants used to treat plastic
casings. When consumer electronics are not properly disposed these
materials may be released into the environment, posing threats to
TakeBack Campaign is building pressure on the consumer electronics
industry to take responsibility for the full life cycle of their
products, including phase out of hazardous materials, product take
back and end-of-life management," says Wood. "The industry is best
positioned to correct the problems created by their design and marketing
local governments and taxpayers shoulder almost the entire burden
of managing electronic discards," says Ted Smith, Executive Director
of Silicon Valley Toxics Coalition and coordinator of the Computer
TakeBack Campaign. "Public policy and corporate practice must embrace
extended producer responsibility ("EPR"), through which manufacturers
and brand owners bear full responsibility. Japan and countries in
Europe are tackling their e-waste problems with EPR; the U.S. must
act to end the global double standard."
what's new for consumers; our national campaign will showcase what's
next," says Wood.
involves dozens of organizations and local governments across the
country. Read the campaign's platform at www.grrn.org.