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[GreenYes] New Electronics Recycling Report
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Japanese May Outspend U.S. firms on Environmental Issues

College Park MD June 18, 2002–While American electronics firms have been working on recycling and environmental improvements longer, Japanese firms now lead the world in environmental investments, according to a new report published this week by Raymond Communications, Inc.
        According to “Electronics Recycling: What to Expect from Global Mandates,” the giant Matsushita Electric invested $497 million on environmental compliance, recycling, “zero waste,” and eco-design projects in 2000. Sony Corp. spent about $154 million, but does not include eco-design in the figures.  In Comparison, IBM Corp. spent $109 million on compliance only. (No other American firm disclosed its investments.)
        The new 197-page report covers U.S. state and federal legislation, as well as detailed coverage of 16 countries, including Canada, Europe, Asia and Latin America.  Additionally, the report summarizes what 28 major electronics firms are doing in recycling, waste reduction, “design for environment,” and related issues.  
        U.S. government and industry representatives are currently trying to work out a national “voluntary” stewardship plan for TVs, computers and peripherals – which will eventually entail national legislation.  There are now 28 electronics recycling bills in 10 states – with bills moving in California, New York and Massachusetts.
        Meanwhile, the European Union is poised to enact two new waste electronics directives that could cost industry about $10 billion per year, according to industry estimates. The directives will require industry-financed collection systems for any product with a cord or battery.
        In addition, a second directive will restrict heavy metals such as mercury, lead, cadmium and chromium in electronics, with some exemptions. While CRTs will be exempt, industry will be forced to phase out lead solder, now used in making circuit boards.
        While eleven countries already have electronics “takeback” laws on the books, the Raymond report predicts that within five years, 28 countries will have such laws.     
        The report’s country summaries include collection fees and recycling rates in the more advanced European countries.  The report includes results of a 50-state survey of electronics recycling policy, including opinions of state recycling managers.
        The extended appendix includes English texts of electronics recycling laws and documents from 10 countries, including Japan and Taiwan. 
        Raymond Communications publishes the newsletters State Recycling Laws Update and Recycling Laws International.  For information call 301-345-4237 or check http://www.raymond.com

Michele Raymond
Publisher
Recycling Laws International/ State Recycling Laws Update
5111 Berwyn Rd. Ste 115 College Park, MD 20740)
301/345-4237   Fax 345-4768
http://www.raymond.com


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