LUCA PERRI: why are defunct tech gadgets “mines”? | THE WAYS OF TECH •

LUCA PERRI: perché i gadget tech defunti sono delle "miniere"?

We produce more and more technology, we ask the Earth for more and more resources. But I’ll let you in on a secret: at home, in our drawers, there is a small treasure, or rather a mine made of critical raw materials and rare earths. To extract them, however, we must learn to deal with technological waste, the famous WEEE. To broaden the perspectives of all of us (including myself), I had a long chat with the legendary Luca Perri, famous astrophysicist and science popularizer loved by young and old. His live shows are literally irresistible!

Fasten your seatbelts because today, on Earth Day, THE LIFE OF TECH leads you to discover what is hidden inside your end-of-life tech devices but above all we will explain how to manage them in a more conscious way.

Rare earths to whom?

We speak more and more often of rare earths, of the critical raw materials that are extracted every day in different parts of the world – but above all in China – and which are used together with columbite, tantalite, cobalt and lithium to produce our tech gadgets and cars electric. Too bad that most of the things we think are totally green and sustainable often have unexpected implications: they are not very sustainable from an environmental point of view and from a human point of view (human rights are often trampled on). How to solve this so complicated (and not complex?)

To shed some light on this very thorny subject, I asked for help from the supernatural gifts of Luca Perri, an astrophysicist and top-level science popularizer; Luca manages to explain any type of topic – even complicated – making it within everyone’s reach.

If you are curious, to know all this and even a little more… I suggest you do not miss our interview with Luca Perri.

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Questions to Luca Perri

In the unfortunate event that you are only interested in some of the topics of the interview, the video has been divided into chapters which correspond to a question.

🔎 Questions to LUCA PERRI

00:00 intro episode and intro Luca Perri
02:05 Columbite, tantalite, lithium, lead, cadmium… which raw materials inside the Smartphone?
04:23 So do the prices of tech products vary according to the type of raw materials?
06:15 What is the difference between critical raw materials and rare earths?
11:50 AM China mines and refines rare earths: what does this tell us?
14:25 Rare earths: in which technologies can I find them?
15:15 Urban mining: our drawers are mines. What does it mean?
17:55 How do I dispose of/throw away a USB cable? And a Charger?
22:11 What is WEEE?
24:15 Apple said it will only use recycled COBALT? why should we care?
30:20 How do you produce a tech gadget that is GREEN?
33:17 Does REFURBISHED make sense?
36:33 SPACE activities use critical raw materials, what to do?
43:39 COMPLICATED and COMPLEX systems. Why is sustainability complex?