EPA Gives RFID Thumbs Up

WASHINGTON—The U.S. EPA has commented that RFID may be an invaluable tool in solving critical environmental issues.

The EPA first focused on RFID in 2005 to determine whether expanding use of the technology would cause a problem with regard to the disposal of smart tags. The agency’s studies concluded any such concern was negligible. In fact, Angie Leith, EPA senior policy analyst, said the agency currently has no interest in regulating this fast-growing technology.

However, continued Leith, the EPA is "looking at the potential advantages” of RFID as a viable answer to "end-of-life issues" for key materials in various industries. The EPA concluded that, since some raw materials needed for technology are in short supply, tagging these materials for recycling could have a big payoff.

Other potential environmental benefits of RFID use identified through research include reducing millions of tons of waste each year, eliminating greenhouse gas emissions, preventing hazardous waste problems and saving significant amounts of energy.

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