Not So Smart

If you are a tech geek and like to buy new smart phones all the time, do consider this interesting graph from Compound Interest - not much recycling going on in the smart phone industry, unfortunately. Click to enlarge.

Key quote:

The problem with extracting rare earths is that they don’t tend to occur in particularly concentrated amounts in the crust. As such, the techniques required to extract them are costly and labour intensive, limiting the places in which it’s economically viable to bother extracting them at all. The processes used to extract them can also be environmentally hazardous, which is also a limiting factor; in 2010, China cut its exports of rare earths by 40% based on its concerns regarding pollution. With this in mind, recycling the rare earth elements at the end of their lives would seem to be a no-brainer. However, there isn’t a single rare earth element whose end of use recycle rate is greater than 1%.

Comments

Pandabonium said…
The corporations that sell these things don't give a hang about our Earth or its people, just profit. And profit they do. From an economic standpoint alone one can reject this technology. They promise many things, but ultimately their purpose is to trap the consumer into a bondage which requires them to pay a fee every month. And pay and pay and pay.

That is the "seen". And then there are the things of which you write. Those are the "unseen" expenses. The costs in life and environment.

That we could develop eyes to see both the seen and the unseen; to survive as a species, as a planet, we must.

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