We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. If you continue to use this site, we'll assume you're happy with this. Alternatively, click here to find out how to manage these cookies

hide cookie message
80,259 News Articles

Greenpeace slams high-tech toxic waste

Shocking pictures from China

Members of the international environmental group Greenpeace have protested at the Computex trade show in Taipei. The group was seeking to bring to the attention of show-goers the issue of electronic waste, displaying shocking pictures of the consequences of high-tech pollution.

Nine campaigners wearing protective suits and masks stood in front of an entrance to the Taipei World Trade Center and displayed posters depicting children holding dumped electronic waste. Many of the photos were taken in Guiyu, China. The town is a major recycling centre for the world's electronic goods but much of the work is done by hand and toxic substances are not disposed of properly, according to Greenpeace.

"We wanted to use Computex Taipei as an opportunity to let the Taiwanese industry know that they are using toxic substances inside their products and we want all the industry, not only the Taiwanese industry, to stop using toxins inside their products," said Jamie Choi, a Beijing-based toxins campaigner with the organisation. "We are also here to remind Acer [the Taiwanese computer giant] to keep its promise of phasing out toxics inside its products."


The toxic substances make it difficult to dispose of used electronics products safely. The products often end up in scrapyards or buried in landfill, where the toxic substances are released and seep into ground water, polluting the surrounding area.

Choi and other Greenpeace representatives are due to meet with Acer on Thursday to gauge the progress of the company's plan to phase out toxic substances.

Greenpeace says a number of companies, including HP, Nokia, Samsung, Sony and Sony Ericsson have already set timelines to phase out the use of toxic substances in their products. The group is putting pressure on other major electronics companies including Apple, Dell, Fujitsu Siemens, Lenovo, Motorola, Panasonic and Toshiba to do the same thing.

IDG UK Sites

Best camera phone of 2015: iPhone 6 Plus vs LG G4 vs Galaxy S6 vs One M9 vs Nexus 6

IDG UK Sites

In defence of BlackBerrys

IDG UK Sites

Why we should reserve judgement on Apple ditching Helvetica in OS X/iOS for the Apple Watch's San...

IDG UK Sites

Retina 3.3GHz iMac 27in preview: Apple cuts £400 of price of Retina iMac with new model