It does not utilize wood so they are against the environment. Use of an electric fireplace doesn't produce any pollutant or harmful chemicals. There is no release of smoke from this kind of fireplace so there is no need for a chimney or venting system.
Every technological device designed today has its benefits to human society. However, it is not always the case that we are benefiting from the devices we are using. There will always be bad effects of these only that we are not aware of it. We may be creating a solution but part of it was another problem. An example of advancement of technology today is the pellet fireplace insert. While it brings is luxury and comfort, it may bring us some discomforts also. So what could possibly be the advantages and disadvantages?