CEA, Environmental Defense Fund launch Eco-Challenge on legacy TV glass

November 14, 2011

ARLINGTON, Va. — The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA)(R) and Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) today are excited to announce the “The Cathode Ray Tube (CRT) Challenge: New Uses for Recycled Glass,” to develop a compelling economic and environmental solution for the challenge posed by recycling old CRTs that have been phased out in favor of liquid crystal and plasma displays.

This Eco-Challenge, sponsored by CEA, officially opens on Nov. 14, and will be accepting submissions for 30 days. The winning solution will be assessed for economic as well as environmental and health benefits, and awarded $5,000 provided by CEA. Up to four additional solutions are eligible for awards of $1,000 or more. CEA and EDF will then broadly publicize and share the solution(s) with manufacturers, retailers and recyclers in an effort to transform how lead-heavy glass is recycled or reused. Additional details about this Eco-Challenge are also available in the EDF Pavilion on the InnoCentive website.

“The consumer electronics industry is committed to the mission of eCycling and this challenge has the potential for electronics recycling to take a giant step forward,” said Walter Alcorn, vice president of environmental affairs and industry sustainability, CEA. “We’re very excited about this Challenge and the innovative solutions it could yield.”

Cathode Ray Tube (CRT) glass, the standard technology for TVs and monitors during the twentieth century, is now obsolete due to new liquid crystal and plasma displays. As a result, the recycling market for CRT glass has virtually disappeared. Furthermore, because funnel CRT glass contains lead — a metal harmful to human health — it is unsuitable for standard glass-to-glass recycling. However, over the next decade more than one billion pounds of legacy CRT TVs and monitors are expected to enter the recycling stream in the U.S. alone. This creates an immediate need for an environmentally sound, economically sustainable solution for recycling and reusing this material.

The open innovation Challenge is part of the EDF-InnoCentive Eco-Challenge Series, launched by EDF earlier this year in partnership with InnoCentive, a pioneer in open innovation and crowdsourcing. The Eco-Challenge Series utilizes the unique Challenge Driven Innovation methodology developed by InnoCentive to accelerate open innovation in commercial, nonprofit and public sector organizations. InnoCentive’s platform brings together cloud-based technology, expert services and a global network of more than 250,000 problem solvers — including scientists, entrepreneurs and inventors from more than 200 countries — to develop innovative solutions to Challenges submitted by a broad range of organizations. These organizations work with EDF and InnoCentive to identify environmental problems, formulate them as Challenges and offer financial rewards for the best solutions to the Eco-Challenges.

“For over 20 years, EDF has catalyzed environmental innovation in corporate America,” said Gwen Ruta, vice president of corporate partnerships for EDF. “With the EDF-InnoCentive Eco-Challenge Series, we are tapping the collective brainpower of innovators around the world to help us solve new environmental challenges in ways that are good for both business and the planet.”

Earlier this year, CEA also launched the eCycling Leadership Initiative, an industry-led effort to responsibly recycle one billion pounds of electronics annually, with the goal of improving eCycling infrastructure and developing partnerships to help reach one billion pounds. The initiative also seeks to shore up consumer education and report on progress for all of its goals. To find a local recycling center near you, please visit www.GreenerGadgets.org .

About CEA

The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) is the preeminent trade association promoting growth in the $190 billion U.S. consumer electronics industry. More than 2,000 companies enjoy the benefits of CEA membership, including legislative advocacy, market research, technical training and education, industry promotion, standards development and the fostering of business and strategic relationships. CEA also owns and produces the International CES — The Global Stage for Innovation. All profits from CES are reinvested into CEA’s industry services. Find CEA online at www.CE.org , www.DeclareInnovation.com and through social media https://www.facebook.com/CEAfeed, http://twitter.com/ceafeed, http://blog.ce.org/ .

Upcoming CEA Events:

  • CES Unveiled@London November 17, 2011, London, UK
  • Future of Television East November 18, 2011, New York, NY
  • 2012 International CES January 10-13, 2012, Las Vegas, NV

About Environmental Defense Fund

Environmental Defense Fund (edf.org), a leading national nonprofit organization, creates transformational solutions to the most serious environmental problems. EDF links science, economics, law and innovative private-sector partnerships. For more information, visit edfbusiness.org. Read our blog at blogs.edf.org/business. Follow us on Twitter: twitter.com/EDFbiz.

About InnoCentive

InnoCentive is the open innovation and crowdsourcing pioneer that enables organizations to solve their key problems by connecting them to diverse sources of innovation including employees, customers, partners, and the world’s largest problem solving marketplace. InnoCentive’s proven Challenge Driven Innovation methodology, community of millions of problem Solvers, and cloud-based technology platform combine to fundamentally transform the economics of innovation and R&D through rapid solution delivery and the development of sustainable open innovation programs. Leading commercial, government, and nonprofit organizations such as Eli Lilly, Life Technologies, NASA, nature.com, Popular Science, Procter & Gamble, Roche, Rockefeller Foundation, and The Economist partner with InnoCentive to solve problems and innovate faster and more cost effectively than ever before.