Makes some days I had more about them materials that is used to manufacture them tablets and smartphones that million of people used to daily. From materials easy of get as the glass, until others surrounded of it controversial as the coltan, it electronic of consumption is the result of the union between the chemical, it engineering and it technology that, while has eased the life of many in question of few years, as happens in others fields, also has some implications negative. Although at first glance, we can find terminals that suit all pockets and ranging from those who do not exceed 50 euros, which up to break the barrier of 1,000, the economic cost is not unique to the must face when buying new models.
The minerals and elements used are the product resulting from some processes geological and environmental happened during million of years. In many cases, the collection of all these materials can be complicated. However, the recycling and re-use once life has just been of the same can also be difficult if we consider some of the materials used to cause problems on the health of the people, as well as their environment if they are not properly treated. Know that in 2014, is produced almost 42 million of tons of waste technology?
Greater or lesser time use?
In recent years, we have seen an improvement of terminals resulting in frameworks for more resistant elements, their ability to withstand dust and water among others in addition, important progress in terms of characteristics of land such as image, performance and autonomy. However, the frequency of releases, which can become very high in the case of the largest, and the incorporation of a multitude of companies of all sizes that are also added to the market, leads to a situation in which premium release for the sale of innovative models at least once a year that requires substitution of the above more promptly.
The recycling process
According to the UN, in 2018, will exceed the 50 million tonnes of waste technology. This figure, that has gone increasing in them last years, has two large causes: on the one hand, the appearance of a mass of consumers formed by hundreds of million of people from of them countries emerging that is through it improves of its power purchasing, can acquire tablets and smartphones. By another, the made of that is more cheap send them terminals to third countries for their dismantling or to give them a new use before recycling them. The organization claims that United States and China are the two large producers of the world technological waste.
One example: the lithium
This element is the more used to manufacture the battery of those terminals. As with other minerals, extraction requires processes that not only transformed the terrain from the visual point of view but it requires the use of large quantities of water. At the same time, when it comes in contact with the surface, it suffers from a series of chemical reactions that liberate is gases as the Lithium hydroxide which can be corrosive. The ecosystems aquatic are those more affected during its process of recycling.
The role of rare earths
In consumer electronics, as in other areas such as infrastructure, this group is gaining a high profile in recent years. The name that receive not is incidental, since this set of elements are scarce and very difficult of get. Collection is done by opencast mines which continue to emanate gases that in some cases they are radioactive. Professor of electronic technology of the University of Cádiz, Enrique Montero, ensures that a single ton of rare earths mining generates about 10,000 cubic meters of gas such as sulfur dioxide that goes into the atmosphere, thousand kilos of radioactive waste, since sometimes uranium can be found in this group of materials, and produced 75,000 cubic meters of acidic water that end up penetrating underground.
Where just our tablets and smartphones?
While the 90% of the components of them devices are reusable and is can recycle, to find the place to where van to stop when already have left of be “useful” must go to Ghana. In Accra, the capital of the East African country there is a district called Agbogbloshie , which has become the electronic waste cemetery from all over the world. Current processing costs are high, so for many countries it is more profitable to send to places like this all its trash, causing serious health problems among the thousands of people who work with it every day without protection or security measures.
To manufacture tablets and smartphones that have become fundamental instruments for many, collecting a series of resources that, in many cases, are finite and that have an environmental cost that can become very expensive if we take into account that after the cessation of use, they are not dismantled correctly and still leaving imprint on the environment is required. Do you think that the manufacturers should curb the frequency of their releases? Do you think that all the players in the sector should take measures to ensure the proper disposal of technological waste? You have available more information as for example, a list of materials that are part of your Terminal so that you may know more.
The item other cost which is paid when you purchase new tablets and smartphones was published in TabletZona.