Counterfeit Goods Trafficking Puts Renewed Emphasis on Industry Certifications
Scandal continues to disrupt the electronics recycling industry – again the result of unscrupulous activity from trusted industry players.
And when such a scandal hits, it’s usually accompanied by a laundry list of federal charges like trafficking in counterfeit goods and falsifying records. Many organizations and government entities rely on electronics recyclers for the destruction of various types of electronic equipment but several companies who are not certified have been found to resell equipment that was to have been destroyed.
For instance, the government’s Customs and Border Protection Agency seizes huge amounts of knockoff electronics and sends them to an electronics recycler for destruction. Some vendors, however, have brought the merchandise back into the marketplace to be resold, instead of destroying it as obligated.
Unfortunately, this practice is not all that uncommon because of fierce competition and the fact that manufacturers have placed a lot of pressure on firms to lower the rates they pay for destruction.
Proper disposal of such equipment – whether for government or private entities – is necessary for a variety of reasons. In the example of the Border Patrol, seized counterfeit goods are to be destroyed at the government’s request. However, corporations big and small have similar needs – to prohibit defective or returned goods from reaching market; to retire older models when new ones are introduced; or to prevent used goods – possibly collected through a trade-in program – from reaching market again.
This excess of reverse logistics and product destruction needs has paved the way for bargain-priced providers to boast claims they often cannot deliver on. One means of compensating for their low prices – illicitly selling the very items they were charged with responsibly destroying.
Proving that something no longer exists can be tricky. In fact, some go to extreme measures like doctoring paperwork to declare the merchandise is destroyed.
Here’s where our industry faces the test of integrity. As they say, true character means acting your best, even when you know no one is watching.
Of course, as the industry matures, the less honorable players are being exposed, and industry-wide standards have been introduced to establish a uniform level of performance expectations.
It is a stringent set of guidelines to which not every vendor can adhere. However, for customers – those seeking the highest assurance that their unwanted assets are being destroyed in a way that values both privacy and environmental integrity – it offers invaluable peace of mind.
Since All Green E-Waste Recycling was established based on the concept of taking the industry to a new level and transforming the way electronics recycling is done, it only made sense for All Green to become Certified.
If these certifications did not exist, we’d still mind our conscience – in fact, we declare exactly that on Our Values page. However, it is important to the health of the industry as a whole to participate in the positive trend of voluntary accountability programs.We are also certified to R2 2013 Responsible Recycling Practices Standard, ISO 14001, OHSAS 18001 and members of the National Association for Information Destruction (NAID). We showcase these commitments proudly – they sit at the top of every page of our website, right next to our logo. It is our reminder that ultimately, we are serving the general public, and we do so with honor.
While there’s still instances of poor practices occurring, the industry is steadily improving. A great deal of due diligence is required when selecting a vendor for legitimate services around the handling of end-of-life equipment, electronic or otherwise.