Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Demand That Manufacturers Take Back Your TV

This year, more than 50 million new TVs will be purchased. Flat screens, high-definition plasmas and LCDs -- Americans buy more than anyone else.

But have you ever wondered what happens when you throw away an old TV? You put it in the trash or out on the street and then what happens?

You won't believe the answer.

Chances are your old TV will end up on the other side of the world in Africa or Asia. Once there, workers strip out any useful metals and other components and then set the pile on fire to make room for more waste on the next barge. You can't imagine the scene as black smoke full of dangerous chemicals fills the sky and pollutes the water supply.

See for yourself by watching this shocking video

-- and then help demand change now:


TVs are often the center of American households -- but on the other side of the world, they're creating an environmental and health crisis that can't be ignored any longer.

Today, Just 12 percent of electronic waste in the U.S. is recycled. Other first-world countries, including all of the European Union, Japan, and Taiwan require manufacturers to collect and recycle their old products, but here, TV manufacturers are not held responsible at all. That needs to change.

Join the Take Back My TV campaign today by sending a letter to the executives of TV manufacturers telling them to take responsibility for their hazardous waste:


Each one of those millions of TVs headed for the garbage contains large quantities of dangerous chemicals. Older cathode ray tube TVs contain between four and eight pounds of lead apiece, and newer flat-panel TVs contain high levels of mercury. When TVs get dumped into landfills, these chemicals seep into the surrounding soil and water supplies. Just 1/70th of a teaspoon of mercury can contaminate a 20-acre lake and make its fish unfit to eat.

The problem is only getting worse. Soon, an FCC-mandated transition to digital TV signals will make millions more TVs obsolete, and Americans will begin discarding them even more quickly.

TV manufacturers have a responsibility to help deal with this waste safely. They earn billions of dollars off these electronics, so they must play a major role in their disposal.

Sony has already committed to the first television take-back program in the United States. That's a major step in the right direction, but the rest of the TV manufacturers have resisted the producer responsibility movement in favor of programs that shift the burden to consumers.

Tell these TV makers to help safely dispose of their products:


Advances in technology have improved our lives in so many ways. But as we move forward, we must be aware of what we leave behind.

Thank you.

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