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HP, Acer, Lenovo take action against irresponsible tin mining in Indonesia

Tin mining on Bangka. Photo Evert Hassink

HP, Acer, Lenovo take action against irresponsible tin mining in Indonesia

21 maart 2014

AMSTERDAM, 18 March 2014 - Tablet and laptop manufacturers Hewlett Packard, Acer and Lenovo wants to stop the environmental destruction caused by tin mining on the Indonesian island of Bangka. Tin is mainly used as solder to connect electronics components in electronical equipment. Philips and major smartphone producers such as Apple and Samsung have already taken the same step (1). However, many manufacturers are still ignoring the issue. Tomorrow, Milieudefensie is present at the Electronic Industry Citizenship Coalition (EICC) conference in Brussels to ask these brands to join the effort to stop illegal mining and deforestation.

Tin mining on Bangka Belitung in Indonesia is essential to the electronics industry – one third of the world’s tin is mined on these islands. The destruction on and around Bangka is extensive: excavations have resulted in an infertile moon-like landscape and sea life is dying due to dredging for tin. Fishers and farmers are losing their lands and fishing grounds, and thus their only source of income. In order to stop this destruction, Milieudefensie and its sister organisations from the Friends of the Earth network in Great Britain and Indonesia are therefore calling on major electronics brands not only to be honest about the use of tin from Banka in their laptops and tablets but also to make efforts to improve the situation. Milieudefensie is pleased that HP, Acer and Lenovo have now responded to this call.

Geert Ritsema Head of the Energy & Resources campaign at Milieudefensie praised this development: ‘It is a wonderful result but we’ll continue now to get Microsoft, Nintendo, Asus and Dell on board as well. Only if all companies participate, can we save Bangka.’

Milieudefensie has been working to solve the problems on Bangka since 2012. In the meantime, a group of electronics companies have started a project for responsible tin mining. If mining companies comply with legislation, begin excavations only after consulting with area residents, and restore and renovate the areas, most damage can be averted. The electronics industry project (1) is being coordinated by the Dutch Sustainable Trade Initiative (IDH).

Milieudefensie will be present at the EICC Conference this week to call for the third time in a row on those in the electronics sector who haven’t yet joined in to act responsibly. Milieudefensie will also be on Bangka in late March, along with Walhi (Friends of the Earth Indonesia) to document the destruction of human life and the environment and to prepare the following steps of the campaign.

In April, video and photo material will be available on request

More information on the issues on Bangka Belitung:


More information on the EICC conference:
(1) Until now, Apple, Blackberry, Acer, Philips, Samsung, LG, Sony, HP, Nokia, HP, Lenovo en Fairphone are joining the project for sustainable tin mining on Bangka