The shadow communications minister Helen Goodman MP has called for greater transparency over tech companies’ supply chains and has launched a campaign to promote the recycling of old mobile phones.
Goodman revealed the campaign at event speaking to an audience of students, campaigners, tech companies and parliamentarians, she said: ‘In the run up to Christmas many people are buying new mobiles as presents, but very few people know that the minerals going into their tech can have a bloody history. We are also working to raise public awareness of the environmental impact mining for these minerals has.
‘It is only right that the companies profiting act responsibly and ensure they know where the minerals in their supply chain come from to limit the use of those which fuel conflict.
‘Instead of simply throwing old devices away, we should all be recycling, so that the precious materials they contain can be reused and natural resources secured for generations to come. I have written to the tech companies to ask them to make this much easier.’
The MP highlighted the fact that consumer demand for electronic goods has made the essential minerals used in their manufacture valuable natural resources. Goodman pointed out that the use of these minerals perpetuates conflict in mineral-rich countries like the Democratic Republic of Congo, as armed groups have a financial interest in the mines.