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Greenpeace calls on Philips to take responsibility for its e-waste


Amsterdam, Netherlands — Koninklijke Philips Electronics N.V. (Philips) is failing to take responsibility for the take-back of its used products. Inadequate recycling policies are leading to e-waste dumping in the developing world, harming human health and polluting the environment.
Three Greenpeace activists unfurled a banner demanding “Philips: Simply take-back & recycle” after scaling the Okura Hotel conference centre in Amsterdam today, where Philips is holding its annual general meeting.

Other electronics producers, like Sony, Toshiba, Dell and Lenovo do take responsibility for their own-branded obsolete products and are setting up voluntary take-back systems for their products, including TVs. Philips stands out by publicly stating that recycling is a shared financial responsibility for the customer, government and the producer. According to Philips consumers should pay for recycling by a visible fee. (1)

The company’s failure to take full responsibility for its e-waste resulted in its low ranking in Greenpeace ’s ’Guide to Greener Electronics’, scoring below the average of 5/10 points and ranking second from the bottom.

“Philips needs to take financial responsibility for its own end-of-life products and not put the burden on consumers, government or other producers,” said Martin Hojsik, Greenpeace International toxics campaigner.

Greenpeace is calling on electronics companies to take financial responsibility for their own product waste. Making electronics producers pay for the recycling of their products creates a financial incentive for them to stop using toxic materials and make electronic goods more recyclable.

“It is outrageous that a leading Dutch company is failing to take full responsibility for its products globally when its Asian and American competitors already have,” added Kim Schoppink, Greenpeace Netherlands toxics campaigner. “Philips needs to follow its own slogan and act with ’sense and simplicity’ by taking responsibility for its own e-waste and provide take-back and recycling services wherever its products are sold.”

In a recent study of the world’s e-waste flows, Greenpeace International showed that most e-waste is unaccounted for; there is no tracking of its toxic trajectory or adequate control over how it is disposed of. This includes up to 75 per cent in the European Union and 80 per cent in the United States. (2) This so-called ’hidden flow’ fuels the exports of e-waste to China, India and other countries in the developing world, creating mountains of e-waste which is hazardous to human health and the environment. (3)


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