Electronics Industry Rallies Around Recycling

Representatives from the U.S. electronics industry, including Dell, Epson, Hewlett-Packard, Panasonic and Sharp, have endorsed a resolution to develop sustainable, fair and flexible recycling efforts nationwide, according to the Electronic Industries Alliance (EIA), an Arlington, Va.-based partnership of electronic and high-tech associations and companies. Manufacturers will work together to develop a framework for financing the nationwide recycling program. Specifically, the proposal will aim to finance recycling programs through a fee at point-of-sale or allow companies to create alternative plans to manage costs without a fee on their products. Manufacturers also will be given flexibility in fulfilling their recycling responsibilities either collectively or individually through the development of Alternative Stewardship Plans. Alternative Stewardship Plans will demonstrate how manufacturers intend to meet or surpass collection and recycling goals set by the Environmental Protection Agency or another neutral party. As part of the resolution, once the framework is established, the National Electronics Product Stewardship Initiative, an EPA-initiated stakeholders group, will recommend it to Congress. "With this agreement, our members are working together and moving the industry forward by presenting a unified solution to help consumers and government agencies recycle more electronic equipment," says Heather Bowman, EIA director of environmental affairs. EIA believes one of the primary benefits of participation in NEPSI has been the ability of all stakeholders to understand the complexities posed by the electronics waste issue. "This isn't just a manufacturer's issue, or a consumer issue or a problem the states have to handle," says Bowman. "It is an issue affecting everyone."

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