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The Environmental Cost of Plastics

Silicon Valley Toxics Coalition
February 10th, 1997


  • Electronics manufacturing accounts for 3% of U.S. plastics sales, or 1 million tons per year

  • 25% of a typical computer workstation is made out of plastic

  • 26% of plastics resins sold to electronics manufacturers is polyvinyl chloride

  • 19% is low density polyethylene

  • 15% is polystyrene

  • electronics plastic scrap amounts to 580 tons each year

  • The electronics industry uses tetrabromobisophenol-A (TBBA) to produce fire-resistant personal computer housing. Methyl bromide, a pesticide classified as a category I acute toxin and a potent ozone depleter, is a byproduct of TBBA.

Alternatives: Principles for a Just and Sustainable Industry

Source: Microelectronics Computer Consortium. The Bromide Barons, Political Ecology Group and Transnational Resource & Action Center, forthcoming March 1997.

For more information, contact:
Silicon Valley Toxics Coalition
760 N. First Street
San Jose, CA 95112
Phone: (408) 287-6707
Fax: (408) 287-6771