Kudos to computer manufacturer Acer, which finally ditched toxic polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and brominated flame retardants (BFRs) in two recently-launched laptops. The move has been a long time coming for the company. Acer committed to eliminating the substances from all its products by the end of 2009, a goal it has yet to meet.
The newly released Acer Aspire 3811TZ and Aspire 3811TZG laptops are part of Acer’s Timeline series of thin, lightweight laptops that feature Intel’s ultra-low voltage Core 2 Duo Microprocessors. The energy-saving microprocessors increase battery life, and both new laptops can be recycled. Still, Acer has a long way to go before it moves up the rankings in the Greenpeace Guide to Greener Electronics.
The power cords of both Aspire laptops still contain BFRs and PVC, and Acer has yet to phase out other toxic substances like phthalates, beryllium, and antimony. Acer has also been berated by Greenpeace for its shoddy e-waste policies–the company only provides take-back services when required to do so by law. And Acer has yet to implement a renewable energy strategy in its manufacturing operations.
Compared to some electronics manufacturers, however, Acer is golden. Nintendo doesn’t have a timeline for phasing out PVC and BFRs, and Microsoft doesn’t provide free take-backs for its own products.