Enviros say Apple’s iPod isn’t green

New legislation introduced in the House of Representatives last week would establish a consumer fee on computer and television purchases to fund a national electronics recycling program. But activists say the real answer to the “e-waste” problem is increased responsibility from manufacturers, and many are focusing their ire on Apple, maker of the absurdly popular and now culturally ubiquitous iPod music player. The 4.5 million iPods purchased in late 2004 may be little more than electronic junk by 2007, as their batteries last only two to three years and are hard to replace. Green activists who protested at the Macworld Conference & Expo last month say Apple’s lack of attention to safe disposal of its products poses a big problem, namely hazardous waste dumped in landfills in the U.S. or, more frequently, in developing countries. “We know that when brand manufacturers have to deal with the end product they are going to make a cleaner product in the first place,” says Silicon Valley Toxics Coalition’s Gopal Dayaneni, who wants Apple to improve its take-back policies. “There’s economic incentive for green design.”