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Which clippings match 'Rare Earths' keyword pg.1 of 1
23 MARCH 2017

Ten years of smartphones (and visions of a circular economy)

"Smartphones sind schlecht zu reparieren, schlecht aufzurüsten, schlecht zu recyceln. Für die Konsumentinnen ist das ärgerlich – und kann für die Hersteller richtig teuer werden. ...

Dass Mobiltelefone eine längere Lebensdauer haben, ist aber ein wichtiger Beitrag zum Umweltschutz: Für ihre Herstellung werden Edelmetalle und so genannte Seltene Erden gebraucht, die unter grossem Energieaufwand und mittels gesundheitsschädigender Chemikalien gefördert werden. Jedes reparierte Telefon schont Ressourcen. Im Auftrag von Greenpeace berechnete das deutsche Oeko-Institut, dass sich die Smartphone-Lebensdauer im Schnitt um 1,5 Jahre verlängern liesse. Nimmt man all das zusammen – Energieaufwand, kurze Lebensspanne und geringe Recyclingquote – wird klar, dass es so nicht endlos weitergehen kann."

(Greenpeace Schweiz, 1 March 2017)



20072017animated explainer videocell phone • circular economy • consumer electronicsconsumerismconsumptiondesign intelligencedesign responsibilitydisposable consumptione-waste • energy expenditure • environmental damage • environmental protection • environmentalismgood designgreen designGreenpeace • Greenpeace Schweiz • harmful chemicalsinternational environmental health and sustainability issues • life span • long-lasting productslonger-lasting productsobsolescence • Oeko-Institut • Oko-Institut • patterns of consumptionplanned obsolescenceprecious metals • product cycles cause • rare earths • recycle and repair • recycling rate • renewable resources • service life • short-lived devices • smartphone • smartphone lifetime • smartphone production • sustainabilitysustainable design principles • technical habits • technology sector


Simon Perkins

Planned obsolescence causing ecological catastrophe

"This is a story about recycling – about how your best intentions to be green can be channelled into an underground sewer that flows from the United States [to Guiyu in Southern China].
At a recycling event in Denver, 60 Minutes found cars bumper–to–bumper for blocks, in a line that lasted for hours. They were there to drop off their computers, PDAs, TVs and other electronic waste.

Asked what he thought happens once his e–waste goes into recycling, one man told [60 Minutes correspondent Scott] Pelley, "Well my assumption is they break it apart and take all the heavy metals and out and then try to recycle some of the stuff that's bad."

Most folks in line were hoping to do the right thing, expecting that their waste would be recycled in state–of–the–art facilities that exist here in America. But really, there's no way for them to know where all of this is going. The recycling industry is exploding and, as it turns out, some so–called recyclers are shipping the waste overseas, where it's broken down for the precious metals inside.
Greenpeace has been filming around Guiyu and caught the recycling work. Women were heating circuit boards over a coal fire, pulling out chips and pouring off the lead solder. Men were using what is literally a medieval acid recipe to extract gold. Pollution has ruined the town. Drinking water is trucked in. Scientists have studied the area and discovered that Guiyu has the highest levels of cancer–causing dioxins in the world. They found pregnancies are six times more likely to end in miscarriage, and that seven out of ten kids have too much lead in their blood."
(60 Minutes, CBS, 9 November 2008)

[This activity is apparently not only restricted to the USA. According Elizabeth Grossman toxic material is also being sent from Europe and Japan.]




2008 • BAN (acronym) • Basel Action Network • consumptionDenverdesign responsibilitye-wasteecologicalethicsexploitationgreenGreenpeace • Guiyu • harmful chemicals • Natural Resources Defense Council • obsolescencePeoples Republic of Chinapoisonpovertyprecious metalsrare earthsrecycled garbagerecyclingrubbishsustainabilitytoxic materialstoxic substancestoxicological effectsUSAwaste


Simon Perkins

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