Many of the top electronics companies have instituted recycling programs in recent years, aiming to cut down on consumer waste and the release of dangerous chemicals into landfills. But what if you can't find that little envelope that came with your cell phone or printer cartridge, or if the nearest drop off center is a hundred miles from your house?
March 19, 2008
No company wants to be known for employing children in sweatshops or coating their products in lead paint, but intricate supply chains filled with contractors and subcontractors have helped to insulate global corporations from the responsibility of ensuring that their products are safe and ethical.
February 8, 2008
The business of cell phone charity—turning in used cell phones to recycling companies for a per unit price used for fundraising—is coming under scrutiny as the business is booming. Ecophones, based in Dallas, has already helped 20,000 organizations across the country. The recycling companies claim to keep the phones out of landfills—but many resell them to middlemen or export them overseas where their hazardous waste components are dangerous to foreign workers and environments.
February 2, 2008
With Americans discarding around 150 million cellphones a year, the issue of cellphone obsolescence has weighed on the minds of environmentalists for years. Phones are made from a variety of materials, including metals and toxic chemicals like polyvinyl chloride, all of which come with an environmental impact when they're harvested and and disposed of. And while approximately 20 percent of the phones that fall into disuse in the United States are already reused or recycled, the E.P.A. would like to see that number get higher.
January 9, 2008
Nokia and Universal Music Group recently announced that beginning in 2008, they would allow Nokia customers who owned certain phones to have unlimited downloads from the Universal catalog. This is seen as an important move from both the mobile phone and music industry. While Nokia and other carriers have started to market cell phones as media devices (in the wake of the iPhone), the music industry continues to struggle with piracy.
December 5, 2007