Just a brief note regarding the e-waste article, there is a reader who directed me towards a few very helpful sources. The Computer Take Back Campaign has pushed past the EPA’s standards to encourage the elimination of brominated flame retardants, PVC, and mercury components. They also concentrate on greener packaging practices, safer labor standards, and more efficient recycling programs. Aside from news and resourceful links on the website, there is an area that allows you to take some action, such as sending an e-mail to the U.S. EPA.
The other site that I was referred to, The Product Stewardship Institute, is a Boston based non-profit that works to study the effects of e-waste and to propose and encourage solutions. I found a particular liking to this site because of the emphasis on legislative action. Case studies for state policies are provided, as well as ideas for different types of recycling programs.
Among the local legislation already passed (in a handful of states), Washington State and Minnesota seem to have the most progressive policies. Aside from working with government, PSI has also collaborated with Staples Inc. (SPLS) on an electronics recycling project. Costs were split between the EPA, for implementing the project, Staples, for helping design the project and for transporting the electronics, and for the manufacturers, for the costs of the actual recycling.
It is great to know that such organized research is happening in the U.S. today and that environmental problems can be a attacked in a number of ways. It would be nice to see a national policy, because the U.S. has enough purchasing power to make major changes universally, at very little cost to any one citizen. If a national policy is too slow, lobby your congressmen and push for changes at the state level.
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