Motorola hangs up on toxic clean up promise

Feature Story - 2006-05-24
US mobile phone company Motorola has backtracked on a promise to remove toxic chemicals from its products. While competitors like Sony Ericsson and Nokia are living up to their commitments to remove toxic chemicals, Motorola is not answering the call to clean up.

Motorola: breaking promises to remove toxic chemicals from its phones.

Over the last couple of years we have been pressuring leading companies to  remove the most toxic chemicals from their products.  With companies as diverse as H&M, Puma, Adidas, Hewlett Packard and Nokia, we have scored some notable successes.

Many chemicals in everyday products are now common environmental pollutants. Almost everyone has dozens of man-made chemicals in their body, and the effects of these chemical cocktails on our health are largely unknown.

Back in October 2005 we congratulated Motorola for joining the good guys when they made toxic clean-up promises. In a July 2005 letter, Motorola committed to phase out all toxic brominated flame retardants (BFRs) in its mobile phones by mid 2007 and to provide a phase out date for the hazardous plastic PVC by March 2006. But after follow-up talks on their progress we received a letter on 15 May 2006 stating that Motorola cannot phase out BFRs and PVC from their products.

Motorola's letter makes several excuses for not keeping their promise. But other mobile phone companies have shown us progress rather than excuses. Sony Ericsson has already removed BFRs from all their models except one. Nokia has already removed PVC in all new models and is on target to remove BFRs by the end of 2006.

For the other companies that made commitments in 2004 and 2005 it is time to put words in to action. Both LG electronics and Samsung are currently behind on their promises but still working towards elimination of these toxic chemicals. Both companies have large product ranges from cameras to refrigerators that can make elimination from the whole product range more complex. Motorola makes mainly mobile phones so it doesn't even have the excuse of a diverse product range.

Check out how the top electronics companies compare on eliminating toxic chemicals and consider who you want to get your money next time you go shopping for electronics.

So Hello? Motorola? If your competitors can make their products greener, why can't you?

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