We talk about "digital ecology"
In the field of digital information and communication technologies, the notion of "digital ecology" has emerged, which refers to a collaborative model of understanding and reflection on practices related to information and communication technologies (ICT) and their development.
Did you know that your brand new phone is plundering the planet's non-renewable resources? 🥺
Once it is no longer functional, waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) can be difficult to recycle when it is complex and manufactured without an overall ecological vision. It becomes more and more important over time, ends up in sometimes informal landfills and harms the environment in which it is found.
Between 40 and 60 metals are used in the design of a digital terminal. The manufacture of a digital terminal (computer, tablet, telephone...) requires large quantities of raw materials such as iron, zinc, aluminum, lead, silica. Many rare earths are therefore used to design chips and electronic components such as lutetium, tantalum, hafnium...
- In the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo, the "blood minerals" (tungsten, tin, tantalum, gold) are referred to because their illegal trade finances the civil war.
- In the Brazilian Amazon, the rivers of the Waimiri-Atroari are permanently polluted by the tin and tantalum mining industry.
- In the Baotou region of China, the extraction of rare earths leads to significant toxic discharges into the air, water and soil.
- In Ghana, the Agbogbloshie landfill is an ecological disaster. Every year, nearly 40,000 tons of waste electrical and electronic equipment are dumped there. It is one of the most polluted places in the world.
So we need to think more and more about ways to recycle these devices and continue to use them to the fullest until they are no longer functional.