Computer Aid boss calls for tougher EU sustainability measures

The head of a charity responsible for sending PCs into the third world has called on the EU to get tougher with manufacturers over reuse and recycling policy. David Barker, CEO of Computer Aid International, speaking at a parliamentary event around sustainability organised by Comtek, said that legi


The head of a charity responsible for sending PCs into the third world has called on the EU to get tougher with manufacturers over reuse and recycling policy.

David Barker, CEO of Computer Aid International, speaking at a parliamentary event around sustainability organised by Comtek, said that legislation had to be changed to ensure that computers were designed to have a longer life.

"You can't reuse unless you have proper design, you can't repair and make things obsolete quickly unless you have proper design," he told Telecom TV.

But he said there was no incentive for the manufacturer unless they faced a "financial penalty" if they delivered bad design and because most PCs were made outside the EU the laws covering recycling and toxins were being sidestepped.

He said that the message to politicians was firstly change the legislation in the EU to get more responsible design but then it had to work with the UN to make the changes impact Asian manufacturers and make the changes global.

"Twenty PCs will fit out a computer classroom in a school and when you think we send 250 at a time in a container that's a hell of a lot of classrooms we can do in one go," he said.

Askar Sheibani, CEO of Comtek, said that repair should be the first option for many organisations and they should try to "reuse the products rather than wasting them".

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