E-waste: The recycling of e-waste must be intensified because digging up Earth. To find precious metals to make new gadgets is not easy, say scientists.
One study estimates that by the end of the 2021-year-old nuclear power plant, it may have weighed 57 million tons.
The Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) says that now there needs to be a global effort to dig up that waste. Rather than dig it up.
Global conflicts are also a threat to the supply of precious metal chains.
The RSC is conducting a campaign to draw attention to the non-stop mining of all consumer technology.
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It points out that the unrest in the country, which includes the Ukrainian war. Has led to a dramatic increase in the number of items such as nickel. A key element in the batteries of electric cars.
This volatility in the commodity market creates a “chaos in supply chains” that allows the production of electronic goods. Combined with the increase in demand, this has led to the price of lithium. Another important component of battery technology – rising by almost 500% between 2021 and 2022.
Some important features disappear.
“Our technological practices are still flawed and have left us at risk of eliminating the immature material. We need,” said Prof Tom Welton, president of the Royal Society of Chemistry. Adding that those practices “continued to exacerbate environmental damage”.
Items on smartphones that may expire in the next century:
Gallium: Used in medical thermometers, LEDs, solar panels, telescopes and has potential anti-cancer properties
Arsenic: Used for explosives, such as wood preservatives
Silver: Used on mirrors, active black lenses in sunlight, antiseptic clothing and gloves for use with touch screens
Indium: Used in transistors, microchips, fire-sprinkler systems, such as coating ball-bearings in Formula One vehicles and solar panels.
Yttrium: Used in white LED lights, camera lenses and can be used to treat other cancers
Tantalum: Used in surgical implants, neon lamp electrodes. Turbine blades, rocket nozzles and nose cap of high-altitude aircraft, hearing aids and cardiac instruments.
During all this time, the amount of e-waste produced grows by about two million tons annually. Less than 20% are collected and recycled.
“We need governments to rehabilitate recycled infrastructure and technology enterprises in order to invest in sustainable production,” said Prof Welton.
New RSC research also reveals a growing demand from consumers for sustainable technology. In an online survey of 10,000 people in 10 countries, 60% said they were more likely. To switch to competitors for their favorite technology if they knew the product was sustainable.
The study also suggested that people do not know how to deal with their e-waste. Many respondents said they were concerned about the environmental impact of unused equipment in their homes. But did not know what to do with it or were concerned about the safety of recycling systems.
Royal Society of Chemistry
Elizabeth Ratcliffe from the Royal Society of Chemistry, told BBC Radio 4 within Science. That most of us were “unknowingly storing up precious metals in our homes”, with old phones and computers not working.
“Manufacturers and retailers must work hard,” said Ratcliffe. “Like” recycling “schemes. Which means people can return their electronics to the seller and be assured that they will be safely recycled.
“All of these volatile supply chains reinforce the fact that we need a roundabout economy for these resources. In the meantime, we are constantly digging deep.”
The community hopes to encourage people to take old and unwanted materials to recycled areas. Rather than putting them in cupboards and forgetting them. It points UK consumers to online services. Where they can find a nearby facility that promises to restart computers, phones and other devices safely.
“The thing we always say is trim, reuse and recycle. So maybe keep the phone longer and maybe sell an old phone or give it to a relative,” said Ms. Ratcliffe. “It will require everyone to work together to scale up. These processes and put infrastructure in place, so that we can all recycle our devices.”