Earlier this week Greenpeace posted a trailer depicting Nintendo’s Mario holding a Wii, Microsoft’s Master Chief holding
a RROD’ed Xbox 360 and SCEA’s Kratos hit by a PlayStation 3.
No, it’s not the world’s greatest console gaming crossover –
it’s Greenpeace’s jab at the three console giants for their apparent environment
“The games consoles market is one of the fastest growing in
consumer electronics with over 60 million sold and 14 percent growth last year,”
Greenpeace explained on its newly launched Clash of the
Consoles website. “These consoles contain toxic chemicals and can
contribute to the massive growth of electronic waste that's often dumped,
causing widespread environmental pollution and health problems for unprotected
Greenpeace has been pushing for the entire electronics
manufacturing industry to replace the use of toxic chemicals such as brominated
flame retardants (BFRs) and Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) with safer alternatives, the
environmental group believes that none of the consoles produced by the big three
“We've checked how the environmental performances of Sony,
Microsoft and Nintendo measure up on toxics, recycling and energy use,” said
Greenpeace. “None of these three seems even close to making a greener console.”
Sony has a policy for eliminating the worst toxic chemicals
from its products by 2010, but the policy does not cover PlayStation products,
according to Greenpeace. Sony won marks for having the best take and recycling
programmes, but was criticized for make the most power-hungry gaming console
In August, Sony announced the Sony
Take Back Recycling Program, allowing consumers to recycle all Sony-branded
products – including PlayStations – for no fee at 75 Waste Management Recycle
America eCycling drop-off centers throughout the U.S.
On the other hand, Microsoft has a policy to eliminate
toxicity by 2011 but does not have the voluntary take back program. The Xbox
360 Elite was also hit for consuming more power (97 watts) than the Wii.
The Wii pleased Greenpeace for its exceptionally low power
consumption (15 watts), at levels at least six times below the other systems,
but Nintendo was condemned as the worst offender on the scale of toxic use,
policy and recycling credits.
Nintendo in November following a report on “greener” electronics. Nintendo
was placed dead last in a list of 18 companies due to the console maker’s lack
of public disclosure on its chemical and recycling policies.
Nintendo expressed surprise at the content of the Greenpeace
report, releasing a statement
saying, “Nintendo takes great care to comply with all relevant regulations on
avoiding the use of dangerous materials, recycling of materials etc. For
example, all Nintendo products supplied worldwide are designed to comply with
relevant global standards.”
The company continued, “In order to certify that Nintendo
products comply with standards for hazardous chemical substances, Nintendo has
established the Green Procurement Standards, which require our component
suppliers certify that any parts including hazardous chemical substances should
not be delivered, and Nintendo fully controls its products in the company.”
Microsoft and Sony have yet to respond to Greenpeace’s
quote: Please recycle your electronics through reputable vendors. It's costly, but worth it.