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HP shamed by Captain Kirk stunt

by David Masters
August 1, 2009

Employees at Hewlett-Packard arrived at work this week to find a voicemail from Captain Kirk of Star Trek fame on their answer machine.

The stunt, organised by Greenpeace, was set up to highlight HP’s broken promises on removing toxic plastics from its computers.

A computerised dialling system ensured that every member of HP staff got the message.

“This is William Shatner speaking,” it said. “You, HP, promised me a toxic-free computer by 2009. Now my friends at Greenpeace tell me that I’ll have to wait till 2011. What’s up with that?”

HP had promised to make its computers free of PVC plastic and brominated flame retardants by the end of this year.

The target has now been delayed until 2011.

“It’s shameful that HP is continuing to put hazardous products on the market, despite the promises it had made,” said Casey Harrell, Greenpeace International toxics campaigner.

“Instead of going back on its commitments, HP should be following the lead of companies like Apple, which has led the sector in phasing out these toxic chemicals.”

Greenpeace also emblazoned the phrase “Hazardous Products” in nontoxic paint across the roof of HP’s headquarters in California.

HP branded the stunt “unconstructive”.

“The antics at HP’s headquarters did nothing to advance the goals that all who care about the environment share,” the company said in a statement.

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