The Quebec Liberal government is considering new laws to force computer manufacturers to recycle their electronic materials.
The move is being lauded by environmentalists, but electronic hardware manufacturers are cautioning against governments imposing green standards on corporations.
The bill's specific details are still under wraps, but some measures were leaked to Montreal newspaper La Presse on Tuesday.
Under the proposed legislation, manufacturers would be required to set up and operate recycling programs for high-tech products such as computers, cell phones and MP3 players.
Make standards mandatory, Suzuki urges
Recycling standards should be mandatory for this kind of equipment, said Canadian environmentalist David Suzuki.
"We've got to start saying it's a requirement that whatever you put out must be dismantleable and the components used or repaired," he said on Tuesday in Montreal, where he was attending a conference.
"It's crazy to develop a new product that is made to be thrown away."
Any law on manufacturing and recycling should go even further and force companies to develop and produce products that last longer and are easy to repair, Suzuki said, stressing that governments have a role to play in setting corporate standards.
Some companies have already established recycling programs on their own initiative, said Dell Computer CEO Michael Dell, adding that it's better to let corporations make changes of their own will.
"I'm not a big fan of governments writing laws to require us to do these things," he said, pointing to Dell's own recycling service that recuperates discarded PCs free of charge.
The provincial government is reviewing its proposed legislation with the goal of tabling it later this year, according to La Presse.