CES: TVs, TVs and… TV zombies
I stepped out of the Las Vegas Convention Center yesterday to recover from the brilliant glare of the gazillion TVs on display inside — only to run into another set of boxes on the sidewalk. Okay, they weren’t regular old TVs, but humans wearing black boxes over their heads.
Their heads emblazoned with the logos of TV companies, these “TV zombies” were out on the street taking a break from their first CES protest. Jeffrey Jacoby, one of the zombies, explained that they were members of the Electronics Takeback Coalition, which was demonstrating against the poor gadget recycling practices of consumer electronics manufacturers like LG, Toshiba, Sony and others.
“We’re calling on manufacturers of TVs at CES to take back old products and keep toxic e-waste from coming to haunt us,” said Jacoby, who was dressed in rags and had on white face paint. The Dallas resident works for an environmental non-profit group and came to Vegas along with nearly 40 other people, just to protest.
Earlier in the day, the group organized a press conference and an official 25-zombie demonstration. (You can watch the TV zombies in action in this “Revenge of the Return of the Undead Toxic Televisions” video here.) They’re campaigning for a national recycling program from TV manufacturers ahead of the Feb 17, 2009 digital TV transition, when “millions of (analog) TVs will become obsolete,” according to the website.
Maybe it’ll be a less uphill task this year to convince CES exhibitors that taking back old TVs isn’t such a bad thing, given how much they’re touting their new energy-saving TVs, recyclable packaging and general all-round environmental friendliness.