Which TV Brands Are Best For The Environment?

01/15/2009 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

TV brands rated for recycling program

As seen in a recent 60 Minutes expose, e-waste is becoming an environmental and public health hazard. The Electronics TakeBack Coalition's Annual Report Card grades TV manufacturers for their recycling programs that reduce this waste, and has just been released. With so many TVs being similar, consider selecting your purchase by which companies offer the best programs.

Here are the results:

B- Sony

Sony was the first TV company to launch a national takeback program. It needs a lot more collection sites to be convenient in many states, but we applaud Sony for its leadership on TV takeback.

C- LG, Samsung, Wal-Mart

LG and Samsung have national takeback programs. Wal-Mart has recently partnered with Samsung to take back Wal-Mart's house-branded TVs.

D- Panasonic, Sharp, Toshiba, Best Buy

These manufacturers partner together in recycling under their MRM company. MRM has just started expanding beyond states that require recycling. Best Buy's rating is for taking back its house-brand TVs.

F- Funai, Hitachi, JVC, Mitsubishi, Philips, Thomson, Vizio, Target, Sanyo
These companies have no voluntary takeback programs at all.

So make your selection based on how responsible the companies are for their environmental policies. Of the best selling brands, say yes to Sony, no to Vizio, and urge Panasonic and Sharp to offer the same recycling policies in the US as they offer in Europe.

Phil Baker is a columnist for the San Diego Transcript and author of the "From Concept to Consumer" from Financial Times Press.