Cursory commitment

Published: Wednesday 15 February 2006

The heavy metal burden (Credit: Basil Action Network)Five companies making personal computers have failed to fulfill a pro-environment commitment to recycle old products in Hong Kong, claims a conservation group.

The Friends of the Earth (foe), Hong Kong, found that ibm, Apple, Hewlett-Packard, Dell and Acer did not have a take-back service. Customer officers at ibm and Acer reportedly said their companies would not take back old computers even if they were brought to their offices. "It shows that these companies' environmental commitments are merely cosmetic," said Michelle Au of foe.

Heavy metals, such as mercury and lead, which are part of the electronic waste, pose a great threat. Over 1.5 million pieces of electronic appliances are discarded annually in Hong Kong, of which around one-third are usually missed by e-waste collectors and end up in landfills, foe says .

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