Date: July 25, 2011
Source: News Room
The federal government will leverage its purchasing power to drive changes in electronics manufacturing and recycling and encourage more sustainable products and practices, according to a new report by an interagency taskforce. The National Strategy for Electronics Stewardship, announced July 20 by the EPA, the White House Council on Environmental Quality and the General Services Administration (GSA), is the result of interagency discussions spurred by a November directive from President Obama. The plan outlines four overarching goals covering the lifecycle of electronics and starting with building incentives for the design of greener electronics and ensuring that the federal government "leads by example," increasing the safe and effective management and handling of used electronics domestically, and reducing the harm of exports of e-waste.
The strategy includes previously announced actions such as the EPA revising its regulations on discarded cathode ray tubes to enhance enforcement of its export restrictions. And it requires the federal government to use recyclers who have been certified by third-party programs such as Responsible Recyclers or E-Stewards when recycling used electronics and calls on more recyclers to obtain certification. It also includes the GSA removing products from its schedules program that lack Energy Star certification or Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool (EPEAT) registration.
However, administration officials say they are still working on the specifics of some of the plan's actions, such as strengthening its language in its contracts about takeback requirements, etc.
Environmentalists, including the Electronic TakeBack Coalition, and the Basel Action Network, are criticizing the strategy for failing to ban the export of e-waste.
To view the report, please visit: www.epa.gov/osw/conserve/materials/ecycling/taskforce/docs/strategy.pdf.