At Etratech, our vested interest in the environment leads us to some interesting places when following world developments in this area. It can almost be like watching a tennis match, with our necks craning back and forth as promising international developments and commitments occur, only to be followed up with discouraging news on pollution, abuse of the environment, and worse. Of course, we’d like to bring some good news to our loyal blog audience, which takes us to the big events in China this month.
In the works for five years, an RoHS-like law took effect in China on November 1, 2011. Please forgive this posting’s misleading headline – it was easier than saying “China Gets on Board with RoHS-esque Voluntary Compliance Directive,” which is more accurate. That’s not to take away from the directive’s effectiveness, or our optimism at the influence that such a major manufacturing market might have on the rest of the world. Just like RoHS, China’s new law, called the Administration on the Control of Pollution Caused by Electronic Information Products, will keep hazardous and restricted materials out of a number of common electronic devices, including computers, televisions, phones, and more.
Unlike the standard RoHS, compliance with China’s law is voluntary. So why would manufacturers choose to follow it, besides their realization that it’s the right thing to do? For one thing, compliant products will be labeled as such, giving consumers a clear idea of which products are safer to bring into their homes. For another, manufacturers who choose to comply will receive preferential treatment in government procurement agreements. We’re excited for this and more developments in the ongoing quest for environmental consciousness and consumer safety.