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Greenpeace Protesters Dog Macworld

While followers of Apple were entering Macworld at San Francisco's Moscone Center, Greenpeace activists projected giant images of the Asian scrapyards at Apple's downtown store in the city.

John Walko

January 9, 2007

2 Min Read

LONDON — While followers of Apple Computer products were eagerly awaiting Steve Jobs's expected announcement at Macworld Expo in San Francisco of a long awaited music playing mobile phone dubbed iPhone, Greenpeace activists projected giant images of the Asian scrapyards at Apple's downtown San Francisco store.

The rumor mill had it that Jobs would finally unveil the iPhone mobile phone Tuesday (Jan. 9) during his keynote and that network operator Cingular Wireless would be named as the first to offer the device. There were suggestions that Apple would also reveal details of its TV set-top box, and announce a larger display version of its video iPod.

Greenpeace decided to use the event as the latest phase in its campaign to push Apple and the entire electronics industry toward greener policies and practices. It said Apple is still lagging behind other electronics companies, which have made commitments to green their products and have set up global recycling programs for their products.

"Apple is a leader in creative thinking and design, and we are encouraging them to expand that innovative know-how to making all of their products green," said Rick Hind, legislative director of Greenpeace USA's Toxics campaign. "Our purpose here is to remind them that making products with toxic chemicals in them is not an option."

Many electronic products, including those made by Apple, end up in the kind of scrapyards whose images were projected on to the Apple shop, the environmental activist group said. Greenpeace showed vivid images of electronic goods being melted and taken apart, releasing toxic chemicals into the environment.

"Apple can make the right decision as people from all over the world gather to celebrate the innovation by the industry leader," said Hind. "We hope they can choose the right option this time and give Macworld attendees what they deserve: a greener Apple."

A recent updated Greenpeace, "Guide to Greener Electronics," a guide to the largest electronics firms, ranked Apple last. The guide ranks companies according to their commitments to phase out harmful and toxic substances, and in instituting recycling programs for products which have reached the end of their lifecycles.

Many companies are following recommendations to eliminate the most hazardous chemicals from their products, including brominated flame retardants and polyvinylchloride and are adopting strong recycling policies that take full responsibility for recycling old electronic products where ever they are sold worldwide.

Apple is failing to do so, suggested Greenpeace.

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