Greenpeace piles pressure on toxic Dell

Greenpeace is piling the pressure on Dell, which it accuses of continung to use toxic chemicals willy-nilly, while competitors are wising up.

On Monday, Greenpeace took the fight to Dell offices in India, Denmark and the Netherlands, scaling buildings and unfurling banners that dissed Dell for its unenvironmental stance.

Greenpeace's beef with Dell is that the PC maker continues to use PVC and brominated flame retardants (BFRs) in all its computers, despite promising to eliminate these toxic substances.

Dell committed publicly to wean itself off these chemicals by the end of 2009. But it hasn't.

Greenpeace blogger "Tom" bogged that those promises were nothing but hot, climate-change-inducing air. "While Dell’s major competitors like Apple, HP and Acer have been acting by selling more PCs free of the worst toxic chemicals, Dell has been all talk and no action," he wrote.

PVC is the single most environmentally damaging of all plastics, and can form dioxin, a known carcinogen, when burned using sub-standard recycling practices.

Michael Dell was supposed to have meeting on Monday to outline how Dell will dump the toxins, but the meeting was cancelled Greenpeace said.

As well as putting greener computers on the market Greenpeace wants all electronics companies to use their influence to advocate for the phase-out of BFRs and PVC in legislation.

HP, Acer and others have publicly stated their support for stronger legislation. Dell hasn't.

Michael Dell has said he'd like Dell to be the “greenest technology company on the planet.”

Greenpeace complains that he's saying one thing and doing another.

Greenpeace's Guide to Greener Electronics is here.