A recent Greenpeace report has stressed the need for electronics companies to act to deal with e-waste.

The report names Apple, Dell, IBM/Lenovo, HP, Siemens, Acer, Toshiba, Panasonic and Fujitsu-Siemens as companies that have refused to commit to: "Eliminating the use of hazardous chemicals such as PVC and brominated flame retardants (BFRs) in the manufacturing of their products".

It explains that Samsung, Nokia, Sony and Sony Ericsson have made such commitments, and observes that LG Elecronics did so most recently.

'You can do without'

"With the most recent commitment of LG, the five 'first in class' companies in the electronics sector with 55 per cent share of the global mobile telephone market, and Sony, which is the leader in the electronics industry, it shows that it is possible to make electronic equipment without the use of these hazardous substances and still remain profitable", said Zeina Alhajj, Greenpeace International Toxics Campaigner.

Tomorrow's environment pays for old technology

The campaigners measured the levels of hazardous chemicals at e-waste processing plants in China and India, and found that despite safeguards, such waste continues to leak into the surrounding environment.

Dr. Kevin Brigden, a Greenpeace International scientist, who collected the samples said: "The data reinforces the need for the electronics industry to eliminate the use of harmful substances in their products at the design stage and take responsibility for their products at the end of their lifecycle."