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The Story of Stuff: Electronics

Tom Levitt

10th November, 2010

The latest film from the 'Story of Stuff' team focuses on consumer electronics and the problems of waste, recycling and toxic components

Sales of consumer electronics, particularly mobile phones and computers, have soared in the past two decades, with one billion of the former sold in 2007.

Although Europe and the US have set up e-waste recycling systems, much of the e-waste ends up being illegally exported to less industrialised countries, where the laws to protect workers and the environment are inadaquate or not enforced.

As well as giving an overview of the problems, The Story of Electronics also urges major electronics companies to start taking a stronger lead in making longer-lasting, recyclable and toxic-free products.

Filmmaker and activist Emmanuelle Schick has told the Ecologist that the industry should be forced to list the 'ingredients' of chemicals in its products, just like for food.

'I think people in general think electronics are pretty harmless, except for the use of mobile phones, so it would be interesting to see how that would affect people's relationship to electronics,' she said.

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