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Greenpeace protests outside Dell offices in Europe

Group says Dell may miss 2011 toxic deadline

Greenpeace held protests outside the offices of Dell in Bangalore, Amsterdam, and Copenhagen on Monday, to demand firmer commitments from the company that it will phase out harmful chemicals from its products by 2011.

Officials at Greenpeace said that the environmental group planned the action ahead of a meeting on Monday at Dell headquarters in Round Rock, Texas, at which Michael Dell, the company's CEO, is scheduled to discuss the phasing out of the harmful chemicals.

"Michael Dell drop the toxics" was a key slogan at the protests in Bangalore.

A Dell spokeswoman in Bangalore said she was unaware of the meeting in Texas. The company stands by its commitment to rid its products of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and brominated flame retardants (BFRs) by 2011, she added.

Dell had promised that by 2009 its products would be free of the harmful chemicals, but as that deadline approached it said that it would delay the phasing out of the harmful chemicals till later, said Abhishek Pratap, Toxics Campaigner at Greenpeace India. Greenpeace is now doubtful that Dell will meet the new 2011 target, which it set in 2009, Pratap said.

Greenpeace is demanding that Dell provide a road-map and quarterly progress reports on its plans to phase out the harmful chemicals, and announce at least one product immediately that is free of the chemicals.

In its Guide to Greener Electronics, updated in January, Greenpeace penalised Lenovo, Samsung, LG Electronics and Dell for not keeping their promises to phase out PVC and BFRs from their products by 2009 or early 2010, the campaign group said.

Greenpeace hit out at Samsung earlier this month for sliding on a promise to remove harmful substances from its electronics products by Jan. 1, 2010. Samsung has not yet committed to a new date for all its products to be free of the harmful chemicals, Pratap said.

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