January 2006

Microsoft tosses PVC packaging

Redmond, WA— Microsoft will complete its phase-out of packaging made of PVC (polyvinyl chloride or vinyl) by the end of 2005 – a move the company took with the help of partners such as the Center for Health, Environment and Justice (CHEJ).

Microsoft began this effort in 2003 when several customers brought their PVC concerns to Microsoft’s attention through letters to the company.

PVC – a combination of plastic and chlorine is the worst plastic from an environmental health perspective. It’s dangerous throughout its entire life cycle of production, use and disposal. When produced or burned, it releases dioxins, which are the most potent synthetic chemicals ever tested and can cause cancer and harm the immune and reproductive systems. PVC cannot be effectively recycled due to the many toxic additives used to soften or stabilize it which can contaminate the recycling batch.

Microsoft estimates that they have already eliminated 361,000 pounds of PVC packaging since July 2005, and anticipate they will eliminate 1.6 million pounds of PVC over the next two years.


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