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Greenpeace forced out of MacExpo [updated]

Environmental advocacy group Greenpeace was forced to shut down it booth at the MacExpo in London on Thursday after show organizers claimed to have received complaints from "unnamed sources," according to a report at

Greenpeace is reported to have set up a stall in an effort to raise awareness about the use of toxic chemicals in products manufactured by Apple Computer.

According to the report, volunteers manning the stall "were signing up Mac fans to challenge Apple to 'go green.'" Flyers explaining the group's Green my Apple campaign were handed out to members of the public along with organic green apples.

"This reaction is totally over-the-top," Iza Kruszewska, Greenpeace International campaigner at the expo, is reported as saying. "Apple refuses to address our criticisms on their products, both for the recycling and for the use of harmful chemicals."

"Instead of hiding their head in the sand, Apple should be a world leader in the greening of the electronics industry, not lagging behind," Kruszewska added.

In August, Greenpeace issued a report which gave Apple a 2.7 out of 10 environmental-friendly rating. It awarded the Cupertino, Calif.-based iPod maker with low scores in almost all criteria, including the use of toxic chemicals, recycling, and the quality of its take-back programs.

Apple booth at MacExpo as seen in a first MacNN photo gallery.

"For a company that claims to lead on product design, Apple scores badly on almost all criteria," the group wrote in the report. "The company fails to embrace the precautionary principle, withholds its full list of regulated substances and provides no timelines for eliminating toxic [chemicals]."

Greenpeace volunteers have vowed to return to the London MacExpo on Friday to continue their campaign, MacNN said in its report. The group has also issued a challenge to Apple to have a product range on the market by 2007 which is free of the what it believes are the most toxic of chemicals.

Photo Gallery Image from MacExpo London 2006
Google's booth at MacExpo as seen in a second MacNN photo gallery.

"It's time for Apple to use clean components in all of its products and to provide a free take-back program to reuse and recycle its products wherever they are sold," said Kruszewska. "We are challenging the world leader in design to also be a world leader in environmental innovation."

Update: Macworld UK offers the other side of the story. The Greenpeace folk were reportedly a bit out of control and disruptive to both attendees and other exhibitors at the expo.