HP, Apple don't join EPA recycling challenge

Jeremy Carroll

Published: January 3, 2013 6:00 am ET

Related to this story

Topics Public Policy, Sustainability, Consumer Products, Recycling

WASHINGTON (Jan. 3, 11:10 a.m. ET) — When the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency launched the electronics recycling challenge in September, some of the country’s biggest electronics retailers and manufacturers signed on the dotted line.

But noticeably absent were two of the biggest names in the field: Apple Inc. and Hewlett-Packard Co. HP is the world’s biggest computer manufacturer and Apple makes many popular devices, including the iPhone and iPad, along with computers, and has a number of retail stores throughout the country.

Both companies would not answer why they didn’t sign on or if they plan to join the challenge, which asks companies to use only electronics recyclers that are certified by either R2 or e-Stewards. The challenge also requires participants to share data with EPA and the public.

“I can confirm we are not participating in the program,” said HP spokesman Michael Thacker.

Thacker said he did not know if HP plans to join in the future or why it didn’t sign on.

Apple officials did not return repeated phone calls for comment.

Best Buy Co. Inc., LG Electronics, Panasonic Corp., Samsung Electronics, Sharp Electronics Corp., Sprint Nextel Corp., Staples Inc., Dell Inc., Sony Corp. of America and Nokia all signed on to the challenge in a ceremony at Vintage Tech Recyclers in Romeoville, Ill.

Despite not signing on, both Apple and HP have extensive recycling programs.

HP has a partnership with challenge partner Staples, which takes electronics from consumers and forwards it to an R2 certified recycler.

Chris Librie, director of environmental initiatives for HP, said the company works solely with recyclers that are R2 certified.

“We have many [partners], but it’s not a lot. It’s a selected group because they do need to meet HP high standards,” Librie said. “We want to ensure the materials are being dealt with responsibly and as much reusable materials are being recovered.”

He said making electronics recycling easy for consumers is the goal.

“I think this general theme of making recycling close, easy and free is a theme that HP wants to continue driving,” Librie said. “It’s an important aspect to make it as convenient as possible.”

According to Apple’s recycling webpage, the company meets the requirements of the Basel Convention and all electronics collected are processed in the region they were collected. Apple forbids hazardous e-waste from being disposed in solid waste landfills or in incinerators, and all lead-containing CRT glass must be smelted by a fully permitted smelting facility in North America, according to its guidelines.

Apple uses Sims Recycling Solutions, according to the company, which is R2 certified and is in the process of becoming e-Stewards certified as well. The company prohibits the export of any hazardous materials from developed to nondeveloped or developing countries.

EPA wouldn’t address the cases of Apple or HP specifically, but said it works closely with electronics manufacturers and retailers to reduce the environmental impacts of electrics across their lifecycle.

“There continues to be great interest from the industry in the electronics challenge and we anticipate the list of participating companies will grow,” said a statement released by the agency.


Comments

HP, Apple don't join EPA recycling challenge

Jeremy Carroll

Published: January 3, 2013 6:00 am ET

Post Your Comments


Back to story


More stories

Image

China's plastics industry making a shift

January 27, 2015 3:41 pm ET

China's plastic industry is in the midst of a “profound adjustment” from large-scale and high-speed growth to growth focused on quality,...    More

Image

UK legislators reject fracking moratorium

January 26, 2015 12:19 pm ET

UPDATED: Environmental campaigners turned their anger on the United Kingdom's Labour party Monday after a vote to impose a moratorium on fracking...    More

Image

Major packaging merger includes plastics operations

January 26, 2015 12:24 pm ET

A merger of packaging companies MeadWestvaco Corp. and Rock-Tenn Inc. will create a new company with nearly $16 billion in annual sales.    More

Image

Auto industry on the hunt for new lightweight materials

January 26, 2015 4:03 pm ET

The auto industry is focusing on lightweighting, and this is igniting a race to find new materials that can meet ever-changing performance needs of...    More

Image

Continental builds low-emission interior trim factory in China

January 26, 2015 12:33 pm ET

Benecke-Kaliko AG is making the largest investment in its history to build an environmentally friendly auto interior trim plant in China, prompted by ...    More

Market Reports

Plastics in Automotive: Innovation & Emerging Trends

This special report newly released by PN and sponsored by The Conair Group examines current trends in the use of plastics in automotive, materials innovations and the changing landscape. It includes a review of legislative/regulatory activity impacting vehicle development and lightweighting, market opportunities & challenges for mold and toolmakers, innovative design strategies being implemented by major OEMs and suppliers, as well as a review of key indicators in Canada, Mexico, Brazil and China.

Learn more

Plastics Recycling Trends in North America

This report is a review and analysis of the North American Plastics Recycling Industry, including key trends and statistics based on 2013 performance. We examine market environment factors, regulatory issues, industry challenges, key drivers and emerging trends in post-consumer and post-industrial recycling.

Learn more

Injection Molding Market Analysis & Processor Rankings

Plastics News BUNDLED package contains our in-depth Market Analysis of the Injection Molding segment. You will gain keen insight on current trends and our economic outlook.

As a BONUS this includes PN's updated 2014 database of North American Injection Molders RANKED by sales volume. Sort, merge, mail & prospect by end market, materials processed, region, # of plants and more.

Learn more

Upcoming Plastics News Events

February 4, 2015 - February 6, 2015Plastics News Executive Forum 2015

June 2, 2015 - June 3, 2015Plastics Financial Summit - Chicago 2015

September 16, 2015 - September 18, 2015Plastics Caps & Closures - September 2015

More Events