the eco phonies: mobile phones are doing untold harm to the planet but green campaigners can\'t live without them. tom leonard reports on the precious metals that are mined for the smartphones so beloved of extinction rebellion followers
They waved aggressively on the faces of police and security guards. No self-respecting eco-
Warriors can use their shiny up-to-Date smartphone.
On top of that, how do they shoot parades and share them on social media, or keep up with Twitter\'s latest angry rant about the destruction of Earth?
Unfortunately, it\'s a terrible irony that Apple\'s iPhone and its Android rivals have become tools for environmental protests.
Because they are also a big part of the problem.
Over 50 million tons of e-
The term waste for waste electronics is now produced every year.
That number is growing at an alarming rate: 5 billion people will have mobile phones by 2020.
Since many slaves are engaged in a very wasteful industry, when the old industry is very good, they are cynical to force them to buy a new version.
These phones are not only aluminum, plastic and glass, but also contain precious materials with limited global supply: gold and copper in wires, silver and platinum in main printed circuit boards, lithium, cobalt and aluminum in batteries.
Some of these materials are very expensive.
Reveals the hypocrisy of today\'s ecological centerbrigade.
Take a hard metal named after the mythical figure tantalos, ta.
Because metal is almost impossible to corrosion, it plays an important role in making electronic devices smaller.
The largest lithium supplier is Rwanda, whose resources have helped fund part of the Second Congo War, one of the bloodiest conflicts since the Second World War.
Children and slaves were used by both sides to dig it.
Even in the 21 st century, seven-year-olds were paid only £ 1.
In the Democratic Republic of the Congo, 50 tunnels per week
The second largest titanium source in the world-
And disappear in the river bed that is constantly at risk of collapse.
On 2014, Apple announced that it would no longer use the ta in the war zone.
But human rights activists want to see the same commitment to gold, tin, cobalt and tungsten.
As for rare earth metals-
A series of elements found in the crust
Most of them are from Inner Mongolia.
Autonomous region of China,-
Mining Products (
How much mobile phone)
A toxic lake has been produced that is described as one of the most polluted places on Earth.
In the nearby industrial city of Baotou, there is a relentless smell of sulfur in the air.
Terrible bodies of water are surrounded by pipes and are three times more radioactive than normal background radiation.
It made the nearby fields toxic and forced many locals to give up their homes.
Apple is uncomfortable with the environmental threat in the technology industry and is stepping up the recycling of mobile phones --
Let a giant robot called Daisy separate all kinds of metal to be recycled.
So far, in factories in Texas and the Netherlands, two dai Ju have opened the iphone.
Its large gray robot arm moves at speed, twisting and turning the phone in the grip, and then systematically separating it. Of 1.
Since Apple founder Steve Jobs first released the iphone in 2007, 5 billion iPhones have been sold and an estimated 0. 7 billion are currently in use.
So when they are discarded for a new model, there will be a lot of plastic and metal discarded.
There are very few precious metals such as gold.
But they all add up.
Depending on the model, a ton of iphone will deliver 100 to 300 times more gold than a ton of gold mine
Six times more than a ton of silver.
David Michaud, a mining expert, estimates that to produce the first billion iPhones, 37 million tons of rock must be mined.
To produce a device, it is shocking to mine 34 kg of the ore and use 100 liters of water and 20 grams of cyanide (
Used to extract gold from ore).
Recycling television sets produced in the 1970 s only requires the production of more than six basic materials.
A typical phone contains 62 rare and precious metals of varying degrees. (
See the example above. )
Daisy came in from here.
For every 100,000 iPhones, Daisy and Apple\'s other recycling robots have the potential to recycle aluminum from 3 lbs, 300lb. 4 pound gold, 13.
Silver 9lb, rare earth element 70lb, tungsten 183lb, copper 2, 200lb, tin 64lb, Cobalt 1, 740lb, Steel 3, 086lb.
These are among the 14 materials (
Plus glass, lithium, ta and plastic)
Apple is focusing on recycling.
Daisy had a feeling for it of the 21st century Heath Robinson.
It\'s actually four robots that are connected together, about 30ft by 10ft, surrounded by plexiglass.
It has three or four force employees who feed the iphone into a funnel at one end and take separate parts out of various slots at the other end.
Daisy identifies 15 using visual recognition technology (
21 in total)
Version of the IPhone, insert them into various slots.
It then hits the screws that hold each phone together and takes it apart.
In addition to the most serious iphone, the robot can remove all the iphone.
It takes three to four minutes to remove each phone.
The separated material is crushed into powder and smelted and then used in the new product.
Critics think Daisy is a publicity stunt.
If Apple really wants to save the planet, they say, it should produce phones that don\'t need to be replaced frequently. (
Apple says its phones have been used longer than its competitors, and they are trying to update more phones.
Nearly 8 million last year
So there\'s less to recycle).
The company says its ultimate goal is to make all products with renewable or recycled materials.
Environmental activists are right in the direction of Apple.
But all you need to do is look at the crowded and dangerous caves in Africa.
There, the six-year-old left here, digging for precious metals in our phones --to see that.