Frederick Noronha on Fri, 9 Feb 2007 11:48:16 +0100 (CET)

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<nettime> After Vista, a deluge of E-waste to developing countries, Greenpeace warns

After Vista, a deluge of E-waste to developing countries, Greenpeace warns
February 03, 2007

Manila, PHILIPPINES -- Vista, Microsoft's newest operating system,
could trigger a deluge of E-waste in developing countries, Greenpeace
warned today. The group argues that with Vista, more companies and
individuals may feel the need to replace their existing computers
sooner as these become incompatible with the new operating system.
The result: massive volumes of computer scrap in dirty recycling
yards and dumpsites in the Philippines, Thailand, and in other Asian
countries where most of the world's E-waste dumps are located. "With
Vista, Microsoft could effectively hasten the obsolesence of half the
world's PCs, especially in the absence of fully-functioning global
take back systems for PCs," said Greenpeace Southeast Asia Toxics
Campaigner Beau Baconguis. "Companies will feel the need to upgrade
more computers sooner=97and when they do, the world is unfortunately
not prepared for the massive E-waste the upgrades will generate."

"As it is, the current environmental policies of computer companies
are not enough to provide an effective solution to the growing
mountains of toxic electronic waste from computer components.
Microsoft should have factored in these consequences and should have
laid out mitigating measures to minimize the problem of obsolescence,
before they started introducing new innovations. Innovation should not
translate to more pollution," she added.

A study conducted by SoftChoice Corporation stated that 50% of the
current breed of personal computers are "below Windows Vista's basic
system requirements" while 94% are not equipped to run on Windows
Vista Premium edition.

The ability of PCs to be easily upgraded is also important if the
massive volumes of E-waste is to be prevented. Greenpeace has been
engaging manufacturers of PCs and mobile phones to phase out toxic
substances in their products and institute take-back mechanisms for
the same products at the end of their useful lives. The demand comes
with a challenge to PC manufacturers to design their products so that
these may be easily upgraded, disassembled, and recycled properly.

"We maintain that the useful lives of existing electronic and computer
equipment should be prolonged as much as possible. In the end, this
is about social responsibility. The idea that software innovation
would result in more mountains of computer scrap ending up in the
dumps of Asia and Africa, contaminating the environment, and affecting
the health of communities, is both offensive and intolerable," said
Baconguis. Contact information

    * Beau Baconguis
      Telephone: +63 917 803 6077
      Beau Baconguis, Toxics Campaigner, +63 917 803 6077
      Lea Guerrero, Media Campaigner, +63 916 374 4969, +63 2 434 7034 loc =

FN M: 0091 9822122436 P: +91-832-240-9490 (after 1300IST please)
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