Smaller & Lighter Flat-Screen TVs Greener Than CRT Predecessors: CEA

Jonathan Sutton

A report has been released by US trade organisation Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) this month, highlighting how the sizes and weights of TV and PC monitors have dropped significantly since flat panels were introduced. Entitled “Materials Footprint Reduction of Televisions and Computer Monitors: 2004-2010“, the report claimed that flat-screen TVs are 75% smaller and a massive 82% lighter than preceding cathode ray tube (CRT) TVs of the same or a similar screen size.

Flat-screen TV
Lighter and greener flat-screen TV

CEA found that the larger flat-screen HDTV sets of today are considerably lighter than the smaller CRT televisions of yesteryears. According to the data, flat-panel TVs sized between 40 and 70 inches weigh around 34% less than 13- to 36-inch CRTs, making the former not only far lighter in terms of weight, but also notably greener because of the environmental benefits of reduced material usage.

Walter Alcorn, vice president of environmental affairs and industry sustainability at CEA, said that TV displays employing flat-screen technology offer many advantages over their CRT predecessors. He explained that the huge reduction in materials used for both flat-panel TVs and computer monitors compared to the amount that had to be used for CRTs means that the environmental benefits are “real and long-lasting”. Alcorne said that these positive environmental impacts can be objectively measured from the manufacturing and packaging stages right through to the recycling and disposal of the television sets.

The study – conducted by Colorado-based market intelligence and consulting firm Pike Research on behalf of CEA – concluded that there are still millions of CRT TVs and monitors in use globally at present, which means that over the coming years the majority of recycling will involve these bulkier products. Once CRT-based displays are no longer produced, and most reach the end of their lives to be recycled and disposed of, electronic waste levels should see a welcome overall decline.

Source: CEA