Apple is doing more than any other manufacturer to reduce the damage it does to the environment, says Greenpeace. Apple is moving from zero to hero as it attempts to create greener gadgets that put the environment first.
The latest Greenpeace report, 'Green Gadgets: Designing the Future' (PDF), has a lot of praise for Apple, and while it points to a few things it can still do it makes it pretty clear others, including Samsung, should copy Cupertino when it comes to going green.
"Apple has shown us a glimpse of a greener future, leading the sector on toxic-free products and starting to address the huge environmental footprint of electronics manufacturing," says Greenpeace UK’s head of IT, Andrew Hatton.
Apple has kept to its promise to eliminate use of the most hazardous products, Polyvinylchloride (PVC) and Brominated flame retardants (BFRs) in its products. Over 50 percent of the mobile phone market is now free of PVC and BFR, the report said, attributing this to steps taken by Apple, Nokia and Samsung.
However, Apple is the only PC brand that no longer uses PVC power cables as well as PVC and BFRs in some minor components. The TV industry is different -- there are no televisions (other than one model made by Philips) that are free of PVC and BFR, Greenpleace claims.
Toxic e-waste is predicted to grow to 65.4 million metric tons in 2017 and the problem is becoming unsustainable. These hazardous chemicals spread cancers and lung diseases among those exposed to them, including those working to recycle these substances.
The report slams Amazon for not providing any environmental information whatsoever and is severely critical of Samsung for abandoning commitments to end use of PVC and BFR in all its products.
"Samsung, the world’s biggest electronics company, has failed to meet its elimination goals for products beyond mobiles, joining Dell in backtracking on previous public phase out commitments," the report states.
Cash is king.
Those companies who continue to use these toxic substances are doing so in order to protect their profit margins, giving them an advantage against competitors when it comes to price. Apple, HP and Acer are lobbying for regulation to restrict the use of these substances in order to avoid being undercut by less ethical firms using these hazardous substances.
"As the demand for greener electronics from the public grows, companies should prove their ability to innovate, building on their progress so far and going beyond what we think is possible now," the report adds.
Greenpeace is urging manufacturers to address use of these substances across their supply chain. Apple’s recent decision to update its restrictions on benzene and n-hexane, to explicitly prohibit their use in final assembly processes, "shows the power of global brands to demand a toxic- free supply chain," it said. Apples decision to attempt to eliminate use of conflict minerals also comes in for praise.
Apple must still do more. Greenpeace urges it to improve reporting transparency and to inform us of progress in its attempts to eliminate beryllium and antimony from manufacturing.
Though at the end of the day, you also have a choice: kill the planet for your own cheap convenience, or apply the pressure on all involved in electronics production to emulate Apple in reducing the damage done. And ignore climate change deniers because their fake science is in the wrong. Your children are worth more then their profits.
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