On 18 November 2012, the Dutch television organisation KRO broadcasted a report about tin mining on the island Bangka (Indonesia, east of Sumatra). Tin from Bangka is used in many electronic devices. The report shows the devastating results of the mining on the landscape and nature of the island.
Jorn Dost, intern at Waag, tells about the valuable resources inside a mobile phone and at the same time takes one apart. A mobile phone normally holds more than 30 different materials, of which many are mined under very poor conditions.
On average, people have about 3 to 4 old mobile phones at home. While every new phone takes new resources, we hold a sleeping stock of raw materials at home. What is needed is urban mining, where the resources are re-used in the right way and not through the current e-waste route that regularly involves child labour, poor working conditions and considerable environmental damage.