It's relatively unusual for companies to campaign for more regulation… but that's what Sony Ericsson is doing. The mobile manufacturer has formed an alliance with Acer, Dell and Hewlett-Packard – along with ChemSec, Clean Production Action and the European Environmental Bureau – calling on EU legislators to ban the use of all brominated flame retardants (BFR) and polyvinyl chloride (PVC) in electronics put on the market from end of 2015 onwards.
Such a move would be tougher than the current RoHS Directive, which restricts some heavy metals and two types of BFR.
The European Parliament Environment Committee will vote on the RoHS proposal on 3 June, while the European Parliament will consider the directive in plenary in July 2010.
The alliance warns that the use of PVC and brominated flame retardants in electronics is highly problematic from environmental and a human health perspectives. When incinerated, the materials have the potential to transform into dioxins and furans – described as some of the most toxic chemicals ever made.
Daniel Paska of Sony Ericsson said "Sony Ericsson is committed to a complete phase-out of halogenated organic substances from its products, and at the current time has phased out almost all brominated flame retardants. We believe the electronics industry has a responsibility to move proactively to find substitutes to replace BFR and PVC and are therefore calling on EU legislators to show leadership on this issue by voting to tighten the RoHS directive."