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The Story of Electronics

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Designed For The Dump

Here is another brilliant, amusing and informative presentation from The Story Of Stuff creator Annie Leonard.

We know that e-waste is a problem - but Ms. Leonard makes the point clear: it is a global toxic emergency.

Gadgets are made from thousands of different materials shipped to assembly plants all around the world. They release toxins at every stage of their life cycle, from mining the metals to assembly and production. In the end, whether they sit in landfills or are taken apart for precious materials inside -- toxins continue to be released.

As it is now, externalizing the costs of the mountains of e-waste allows companies to keep designing for the dump. Good News: there are emerging Product Take Back laws gaining traction in Europe and Asia that may begin to make manufacturers accountable for their products.

What if electronics designers instead could compete for the longest lasting, most toxic free products? What if gadgets were created in a way that enabled them to be...repaired?

--Bibi Farber

This video was produced by the Story of Stuff Project