Greenpeace goes after gaming giants

Greenpeace has named and shamed all of the major games console makers in a new report.

The environmental activists claim that Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo are all not doing enough to make their products eco-friendly.

In particular, says Greenpeace, all are still using potentially harmful chemicals and metals in the construction of their consoles.

Greenpeace literally took a Sony PS3, Microsoft Xbox 360 and Nintendo Wii apart and, while it acknowledged that all three comply with European laws, the manufacturers still have some way to go to get their seal of approval.

Nintendo came in for the biggest bashing.

Zeina Al-Hajj, Greenpeace's International Toxic Campaign co-ordinator said that the manufacturer "...doesn't have any environmental policies".

It came bottom of Greenpeace's global assessment of "green" technology companies.

But Sony and Microsoft also came in for criticism because both the PS3 and 360 both contained "very high" levels of chemicals, called phthalates, which are used to "soften" flexible materials like wires and cable coatings.

The Beeb explains that these are not permitted in toys sold in Europe but under EU regulations games consoles are not classed as toys.

Al-Hajj quipped though: "...whether or not it's a toy, we do not want these chemicals in our products".

Nintendo retorted that it complies with "all the necessary EU Directives" and also takes "into consideration the standards applicable to toys".

Greenpeace, in the meantime, is calling for console makers to adopt return and reuse policies for old consoles (which Sony claims it already does).

Al Hajj concluded: "This is one of the most innovative industries we have on the planet".

"This is an industry that is changing our way of life and if it does not take these challenges upon themselves to be more green, we are going to be in deep trouble very, very soon."


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