Mr Shatner, world renowned for his role as captain James T Kirk in the original Star Trek series, is critical of HP’s failure to remove materials like brominated flame retardants (BFR) and polyvinyl chloride (PVC).

In the message he also praises rival firm Apple who, according to Mr Shatner, has made great strides in removing these materials which can enter the waste chain and damage the environment.

The message, organised by environmental group Greenpeace, also says HP has back-tracked on its 2007 commitment to phase out the materials from their products, including server and printer lines, by 2009 to 2011.

Mr Shatner said: “HP promised me a toxic free computer by 2009, now my friends at Greenpeace tell me I’ll have to wait until 2011, what’s that about?

“Please ask your leader Mark Hurd (chief executive and president of HP) to make computers free of hazardous plastics … just as Apple has done.”

A spokeswoman for HP said: “For decades HP has been a leader in environmental responsibility and has adopted practices in product development, operations and supply chain that are transparent and help to reduce its environmental impact.

“By autumn 2010 all new commercial PC products released will be BFR/PVC free and by the end of 2011 all new PC products released will be free of BFR/PVCs.”

Greenpeace also staged a protest at HP’s US headquarters painting the words ‘hazardous waste’ on the roof.

The spokeswoman said the action was ‘unconstructive’ and ‘did nothing to advance the goals that all who care about the environment share’.

Luke Walsh

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