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Groups Concerned about RFID's Bad Effects



There are many concerned groups asking and/or suggesting RFID tag manufacturers and users concerned to account for the direct and indirect impacts on the environment. Following are some cases of proactive agencies looking over RFID deployment.

Back in June 2000, the European Commission adopted a proposal for a Directive on Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) and a proposal for a Directive on the restriction of the use of certain hazardous substances in electrical and electronic equipment. On 10 August 2005 the British Government made an announcement on the timetable and policy leading to implementation of the WEEE Directive in the UK. 

In September 2004, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Office of the Federal Environmental Executive (OFEE) co hosted a workshop on the impact of tags on the reuse and recycling of packaging materials. 

After a study of consumer awareness about RFID, the researchers suggest that addressing of consumers' concerns and debunking of myths with facts regarding costs and prices, as well as privacy, and environmental and health issues, should be top priority for companies and CEO's implementing RFID. 

California based EoCycle electronic waste recyclers have a zero export policy, and has the capacity to break up and re-cycle e-waste into 13 material streams, and feed it back to local California businesses to make new products. Their mission is "to eradicate the improper disposal of obsolete electronic equipment from the corporate and institutional sectors in the most ethical, cost effective, and accountable manner." 

Mid-2004 saw a convention of hundreds of business leaders at the Global Compact Leaders' Summit to discuss progress in corporate social responsibility (CSR). The Compact is an initiative that 'brings together businesses, United Nations agencies, organized labor, and other interested constituencies to support key principles in the areas of human rights, labor, and the environment'. 

In June this year, in a letter to the Department of Defence (DOD intends using RFID tags on all its shipments) the Paper Recycling Coalition of the US has earnestly brought out its concerns about actual tag placement on wrappings and the effect of metallic antennae during the recycling process, and has spelt out its offer to help seek solutions to the issue.