HP Bans E-Waste Exports From Rich Nations to Developing Ones

by | Feb 15, 2010

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ewasteHP has updated its global corporate policy on banning exports of non-working electronics to developing countries with new requirements. The policy now states that HP does not permit electronic waste to be exported from developed (member) countries in the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and the European Union (EU) to developing (non-OECD/EU) countries, either directly or through intermediaries.

The policy allows the export of materials defined as non-hazardous by the Basel Convention, and working equipment and parts not intended for disposal or recycling but for donation, reuse and resale. It also permits the return of components to the original equipment manufacturer that are under warranty and materials to be used in manufacturing that do not require further processing or preparation.

HP says e-waste processed by the company and its authorized vendors is tracked and documented throughout the entire chain of custody until final disposition. HP audits its recycling, refurbishment and processing vendors annually to ensure they conform to its vendor requirements for hardware reuse and recycling and supply chain social and environmental responsibility (SER) policies.

Competitor Dell claimed last May to be the first major computer manufacturer to ban the export of electronic waste including non-working electronics to developing countries as part of its global policy on responsible electronics disposal.

Environmental groups such as the Electronics TakeBack Coalition and Basel Action Network (BAN) applauded HP’s policy on e-waste.

“This announcement shows that HP is an environmental leader in this industry,” said Barbara Kyle, Electronics TakeBack Coalition National Coordinator, in a press release. “Companies managing e-waste need strict programs in place to prevent pushing our problems on developing nations and to stem the stream of toxic waste. With this policy, HP is making a commitment to do their part to stop the global dumping of e-waste.”

Kyle also stated it’s important that HP take voluntary steps to control its e-waste but there still will be millions of pounds of e-wasted exported each year until Congress takes action to stop it.

A recent report from Pike Research shows that the e-waste crisis will worsen over the next several years until 2015, when volume will peak at 73 million metric tons.

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